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Should My HVAC Fan Be Set to Auto or On?

Adjusting an AC Thermostat

With California prices on an ongoing rise, we are all trying to seek the best cost and energy-saving solutions, especially when it comes to our HVAC units. With various settings on our units, you may feel overwhelmed trying to understand what they mean and what they do. For example, you might be wondering when you should set your thermostat's fan to AUTO versus ON.

Sound familiar? Here are a few things you should know about your thermostat’s AUTO and ON settings, including how they play into your energy consumption.

Energy + Money Saving

You are on the road to going green and saving money by switching your HVAC unit's fan to AUTO. When you select the ON setting for your fan, the fan will run continuously, even when your HVAC system is not heating or cooling air. This can rack up your energy bills.

However, when you select the AUTO setting, you’re telling your system’s fan to run only when your HVAC system is cooling or heating air. Therefore, when your settings are set to AUTO, your unit will consume less energy. With lower power consumption, you will cut your electrical bills back, saving you money.

Better Dehumidification

With a fan set to AUTO, you are also allowing your unit to provide you with better dehumidification. Usually, with a fan continuously running, the moisture from your cold coils will not have a chance to drip outside and will cause a moisture buildup that will be reintroduced into your air at home. Your settings set to AUTO allow your air conditioning unit time to drip and drain outdoors. A good dehumidification process is essential to help preserve indoor air quality for those with respiratory conditions, like asthma.

Reduced Device Replacements

We all know how costly replacements can be. With your HVAC unit not continuously running, you are allowing your unit to take a break. The settings set to AUTO will enable your HVAC system to only function when it is cooling or heating air, reducing the number of times you will need to replace your equipment due to overusing it. With your settings being automatically set, you also won’t dirty your air filter as fast as when the fan is constantly running, which can also help cut down on the cost of filter replacements.

When Should I Leave It ON?

Although having your fan set to AUTO has many pros, there are some situations where using the ON setting is beneficial for your home. Here are a couple of scenarios where leaving your unit's fan on can help:

  1. If you are aware that you will be cleaning your home, the dust and dirt particles in the air may cause your air to become dirty and muggy; setting your fan to "ON" will help your cleaning process by collecting dust in the air filter. This setting will help enhance your indoor air quality.

  2. Hosting many guests in your home can make the place feel stuffy. Turning your unit's fan ON can assist with circulating fresh air flow, making your air cleaner.

Comprehensive 24/7 Service

Our specialized technicians at West Coast Air Conditioning are here to help you maximize your system’s performance. Contact us today at (805) 954-9195 for more information.
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