“Should I set my HVAC fan to auto or on” is a question we commonly receive from Homesense customers — along with “does running the fan on my air conditioner use a lot of electricity?” It’s a debated topic throughout the industry, so we’re going to give you the pros, the cons, and our recommendation.
When you set your fan to “ON,” you’re telling it to keep running 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, regardless of the heating or cooling setting. There are a few positives to this feature.
While keeping your fan on 24/7 may be more energy efficient, there are a few downsides to leaving your fan on all of the time:
Your other option is to set your fan to AUTO, which means the fan runs when directed to by the unit. Here are the pros and cons to this approach:
When keeping your air conditioner fan on or auto, there’s no boilerplate recommendation that we make to home owners, because everyone has different needs. At Homesense owner Brian’s home, he has it set ON all day because he has young children that are home and he has allergies, so the improved comfort and air quality are benefits that outweigh the costs. Whereas our other owner, Jesse, sets his home to AUTO because he works away from home all day, and is more concerned with reduced operating costs.
PRO TIP: Many newer thermostats will have a variable speed blower or “circulate” option, that allows you to set the fan on for a certain amount of time every hour. The blower will automatically run at different speeds, giving you the benefits of lower electrical bills and increased comfort.
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