By understanding your thermostat’s fan settings, you will gain more control over your comfort and potential energy savings. The decision to use the “on” or the “auto” setting plays an important role in how your home feels, air quality and operating expenses. Here is how these settings compare to each other.
When you have set the fan control to “on,” it will run continuously even when the air conditioner has finished a cycle and is not actively cooling the air. This increases comfort because air temperature in the home remains more even. Instead of a sudden halt to cool air, you will notice a more gradual change. For instance, the ductwork will still be cool from the previous cycle and, unless something has gone amiss, air coming from the registers should still be relatively cool. In addition, the flow of air will have time to permeate the home’s rooms and diminish warm spots.
Setting the fan to “on” is also the better choice regarding indoor air quality. The constant flow of air prevents stagnation and since the air is moving through the air filter more often, the result is cleaner air.
The “auto” thermostat setting typically comes out ahead in a positive way regarding monthly energy costs. It uses less energy because the fan runs only a short amount of time and at a relatively slow speed.
However, the fan will experience more wear and tear at this setting. Like many types of mechanical devices, the strain of starting and stopping can be greater than if it were left continually running.
When you upgrade your air conditioner, you can get around the drawbacks of both settings by choosing one with a variable speed fan motor. Fan speed is automatically adjusted to meet the immediate climate needs of the home. Most of the time the fan runs at very low speeds, and this reduces the operating costs while offering more comfort and improved air quality.
For more about choosing the right thermostat setting and saving energy, please contact us at Roth Heating & Cooling.