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Should I Set my Thermostat to Auto or On?

Thermostats have the option to set your fan to “auto” or “on.” Many homeowners have questions about the settings and want to know which to use. We will lay out the differences so you can choose which setting is right for your home.

“Auto”-matic vs. “On”
First of all, the “auto” and “on” setting on your thermostat is a setting that controls your heating and cooling system’s fan. When your thermostat is set to “auto,” your fan will only run while your HVAC’s heating or cooling cycles are running. For example, let’s imagine you have your air conditioning on and you have your thermostat temperature set to 72°. This means that your system will run until the temperature in your home reaches the desired temperature of 72° and your cooling system is satisfied. This also means that your fan will be running, along with the cooling cycle. Once the preset desired temperature is hit, the cooling cycle stops and so does your fan.

When you set your thermostat to “on,” the fan will continually run no matter what. Even when your HVAC system is not going through a heating or cooling cycle, the fan will continue to run when the fan is set to “on.”

Which is better?
The answer is- it depends on your needs. Let’s look at the pros and cons of using “auto” and “on” and let you decide.

“Auto” Remember, when your fan is on the “auto” setting, it will turn on and off depending on whether your heating or cooling cycle is on or not. Therefore, using “auto” will use less energy, cutting the costs on your energy bill. The downside is that because the fan is constantly cycling, stopping and starting, this can cause wear and tear over time. Another con is that there can be an uneven distribution of heating and cooling. When the fan stops, it stops moving air to other spaces in your home. In the summer, this can cause hot spots in your home.

“On”  When your fan is in the “on” position, it will be constantly running. This will obviously increase your energy bills. The upside is that because the fan is always on, it is able to get the air more evenly distributed in your home, making it more comfortable and getting rid of the hot and cold spots. Another bonus is that air is constantly being cycled through your filter, improving your air quality.  Of course, you will need to change your filter more frequently.

So which one should you use? You choose. It is really up to your family and their needs.

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