Many people leave their AC set to “Auto”, which allows it to cycle on and off to maintain the set temperature. As such, the fan will automatically turn on when the AC is actively heating or cooling air. Another option is to leave the blower fan on even if the AC is turned off. For clients who ask, “Should I leave my AC fan on?”, here’s a look at how it may or may not be beneficial.
Why Let the AC Fan Run Continuously
There are several perks to keeping an HVAC fan running 24/7. If you’re skeptical about doing so, here is how leaving the fan on can help:
- Reduced AC Strain: Stopping and starting can increase wear, while constant, steady motion reduces strain and can help your AC last longer.
- Air Circulates Continuously: The fan keeps air circulating throughout your home. As it does, air passes through filters and sterilizers, reducing allergens and pathogens.
- Even Heating and Cooling: Warm or cool air circulates more consistently when the fan is running, so it’s less likely your home will have hotter or colder areas.
Why Should I Not Let the Fan Run Continuously?
Running the fan nonstop might cost more money in the long run. But it can be hard to determine whether it offsets the cost-benefit of your AC possibly lasting longer. It depends on the blower motor and if it’s designed to always run. A constantly running fan can also draw cooler air in during the winter; in summer, ducts near outside walls or in the attic can contribute warmer air (both scenarios cause the system to work harder). The filter may also need to be changed more often.
The “Auto” setting is indeed energy efficient. It also allows for improved dehumidification, as the moisture can drip from the cooling coils and drain outside, rather than blowing back in. However, uneven distribution of hot or cool air can make your home less comfortable, forcing you to use the AC more often. The fan and blower motor will have more wear and tear and may need to be replaced sooner. Therefore, you may pay more over time for maintenance and repairs.
What Is the Best Option
Whatever you choose to do, it doesn’t offset the need for HVAC maintenance. Whether you run the AC fan in “Auto” or “On” mode, there will be specific maintenance needs. For example, leaving it on may require more filter changes and motor service depending on the model. Letting the fan turn on and off too frequently can damage it. So, whether either method yields savings depends on various factors.
A newer option is a variable speed blower. The thermostat can be set so the fan runs for a certain amount of time every hour, while the blower can run at different speeds. This enables your AC to not just run “On” or “Off”, but at different levels based on demand and the actual temperature. It improves comfort, boosts efficiency, and can lower electrical bills.
The answer to the question, “Should I leave my AC fan on?” is totally up to you.
Have More Questions? Contact Sky Heating & Air Conditioning
Your personal preferences largely determine how you operate your AC. What’s universally true is annual maintenance allows your HVAC system to run at peak performance. It can reduce repair costs, save energy, and improve indoor air quality. Manufacturer warranties often require regular HVAC maintenance and for good reason; it allows your AC and its components to last longer. For prompt, professional service, call Sky Heating & Air Conditioning at 503-673-9083 today.