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Should You Run Your Fan Continuously?

lady adjusting thermostat

If your HVAC system’s fan is set to Auto on your thermostat, it will only come on when your heater or air conditioner is working. If you set your unit to On, the fan will keep working even when the rest of your HVAC system turns off. Both settings have drawbacks and benefits. Before you decide whether or not you should run your Bessemer, Alabama, home’s fan continuously, consider your energy use, comfort, indoor air quality, and humidity levels.

Energy Use

Keeping your fan on consumes more energy than using it only when your HVAC system is active. It can cause extra wear on your fan, but lots of stops and starts could shorten the life of the rest of your HVAC system.

If you crave a cooling breeze or the air in your home seems stale and stuffy, have ceiling fans installed. You can use just one or two small fans in occupied rooms instead of keeping the fan in your HVAC system on continuously. In the winter, you can change the direction of your ceiling fans from counterclockwise to clockwise. That way, they can circulate warm air down into the room without creating a breeze.

You can also upgrade to a variable-speed system. The fan and compressor will run longer at a lower speed to save energy while keeping your home’s air circulating. That way, your unit won’t stop and start as much, and you can enjoy more air circulation without a bigger energy bill.


If the air in your home circulates continuously, you won’t have as many warm areas or drafts. Keeping your fan on is especially useful if your home has more than one story. It carries more warm air away from upper floors that tend to be warmer, and it can also help bad smells dissipate faster and keep them from staying in one room.

However, you’ll have to listen to the noise from your fan all the time. Keeping it running could also cause eye irritation, and it could make you feel colder in winter. So, there may be times when you’ll want to switch your fan back to Auto.

Indoor Air Quality

Keeping your fan running circulates more air through your HVAC system’s filter, which removes more contaminants and maintains your indoor air quality (IAQ). Dust, dirt, pollen, pet dander, and biological growth in your home’s air can cause asthma or allergy symptoms, fatigue, headaches, rashes, and other health problems. You should change your system’s air filter once per month to keep it from becoming clogged and restricting your airflow. A dirty filter can spread pollutants and force your system to work harder and use more energy.

Have your ductwork cleaned periodically by the experts at Total Comfort Heating & Air and vacuum and dust your home regularly. Otherwise, pests, cobwebs, dirt, dust, and debris could spread around your house when your system’s fan is on. These contaminants can also reduce your system’s efficiency.

Humidity Levels

An air conditioner cools and dehumidifies your home when air passes over the evaporator coil in your indoor air handler. If your unit has too much capacity for your home, water will condense on the cold coil. If you run your fan after the coil warms up, that moisture will go right back into your home’s air and lower your indoor air quality. It can encourage biological growth and make you feel warmer in summer. However, keeping your fan running for a few minutes after you turn off your air conditioner will help you avoid dryer air during the winter months.

Many different factors can impact your decision whether to keep your HVAC system set to Auto or On. The professionals at Total Comfort Heating & Air can help you decide which setting is best for your HVAC system and your family. We can also help you with installing, repairing, and maintaining a variety of heating, air conditioning, and indoor air quality equipment. We have an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, and all of our technicians are NATE certified. Call us anytime at (205) 386-2056 for outstanding, honest service.

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