ON VS. AUTO: Do You Know Which Thermostat Setting Is Better?

Three Ways Thermostat Fan Settings Affect Your Home

Summers in Delaware can be a delight – but there are some days that are just hot, sticky and uncomfortable. On those days, you want nothing more than to be in your air-conditioned home.

On days like that, it’s tempting to change your thermostat fan setting from “auto” to “on”, thinking it will cool your house faster – but that’s a mistake.

When your thermostat is set to “auto,” it means that that your air conditioner’s blower fan (which pushes air through your ductwork) will only run when your AC is actually producing cool air; if it is set to “on,” your fan will run 24/7, whether or not cold air is being produced.

Keeping the thermostat’s fan set to “on” creates three problems:

Your Energy Bills Will Be Higher

By keeping the fan of your HVAC system set to “on” rather than “auto”, you will be paying to run the blower motor even if it is not circulating cool air; this is essentially like leaving your car on when you leave it in the driveway after getting home from work!

You’ll Wear Out Your Equipment Faster

When the fan runs constantly, its motor will wear out sooner – and that’s a part you will have to pay to replace out of your own pocket. You will also need to replace your furnace air filter or AC filter more often.

It Won’t Improve Your Comfort

If you run your furnace with your fan set to “on” in the winter, you will sometimes feel cooler air coming from your vents; that’s because the fan is running while the furnace isn’t producing hot air. The same thing happens with your cooling system during the summer, except you’ll get warm air coming from the vents. Either way, you won’t improve your comfort; you’ll just be paying more to heat or cool your home.

Is The “ON” Setting Ever A Good Option?

Is there ever a time when you should set your home heating or cooling system to “on” rather than “auto”? Yes – if someone in your home has bad allergies or a respiratory condition and would benefit from having the air constantly filtered by your HVAC system. In that case, you could pay $40-50 more a month on your energy bills, but the tradeoff will likely be worth it.

Other Furnace and AC Possibilities

Some newer furnace and AC systems feature a variable speed blower, which turns down the speed of the fan when your HVAC system is not producing warm or cool air rather than shutting it off altogether. To learn more about this type of system, contact us today.

Want to learn more about how to best use your HVAC system? Contact the professionals at Poore’s* today. We’re happy to help, as well as schedule a free, no-obligation cooling system evaluation if you think an upgrade might be in order!

*HVAC services are available to Delaware customers only.