Which is the Better Thermostat Setting: On or Auto?

Which is the Better Thermostat Setting: On or Auto?You may have a thermostat that gives you the option of setting it so that the fan inside the blower compartment runs continuously, even when the system isn’t providing cooling. This particular thermostat setting lets you circulate the air through the ductwork and it has specific advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages of the “On” Position

  • Moving all always feels cooler.
  • Using the fan on setting eliminates the need for summertime fan use in individual rooms.
  • Since the air is always circulating, a greater volume of your home’s air passes through the air filter. Airborne dust, pollen, and dander loads will be lower and indoor air quality (IAQ) higher.
  • Rooms further from the air handler or blower compartment will be more comfortable, since it has a better chance to mix.
  • Humidity levels will be somewhat lower in the cooling mode, since water vapor will continue to condense for a short time after the A/C turns off.
  • The cooled air inside the ducts will circulate even after the air conditioner turns off.

Disadvantages of the “On” Position

  • Energy bills will be higher. Blower motors use more electricity than ceiling or room fans do, and running it constantly will drive up energy bills.
  • It may be noisier in rooms closer to the air handler where the fan sits.
  • If you keep the fan on during the heating season, the air will feel chilly once the system turns off.

Recent technological advances for HVAC systems have made the fan’s thermostat setting obsolete. A variable-speed HVAC system runs the fan at a speed based on the amount of conditioning your home needs. Most of the time the equipment runs at a lower speed for longer periods, and it consumes less energy. These systems also last longer, since they have fewer starts and stops, which strain many components in HVAC systems.

The thermostat setting you choose will influence your comfort, but you can achieve both comfort and energy savings with a variable-speed system. To learn more, contact C.R. Wolfe Heating & Air Conditioning, providing outstanding HVAC services for Middletown homeowners.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Middletown, New York about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about thermostat settings and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 845-367-4482.

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “doomu/Shutterstock”

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