Your air conditioning system doesn't just produce cold air. It also uses a fan to circulate the air around your home, allowing you to enjoy cooler temperatures in every room. However, there are usually several fan settings, which can be confusing to homeowners who aren't familiar with how their air conditioning system works. Read on for advice on how to set up your AC fan for maximum comfort and efficiency.
Are You An Auto or an On Family?
Most air conditioning systems have two fan settings: “On” and “Auto.” The labels aren't particularly clear to the layperson, but there is a distinction:
- On means that the fan is constantly running, pushing air through the house whether the AC is currently in cooling mode or not.
- Auto, on the other hand, only moves the air when the unit is actually in its cooling cycle.
Not sure which to choose? There are plenty of good reasons to use either setting, depending on your personal preferences.
Automatic for the People
One major benefit of using the automatic fan setting is that you save energy by shutting it down when the AC isn't doing its thing. This also means that your fan motor will last longer before you need to service it because it's not running all the time. On the flip side, allowing the fan to switch off means that the air can grow stagnant in between cooling cycles, and you won't get as much filtering action to constantly control pollen and dust.
Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out
An always-on fan setting shines in areas where the automatic function falls short. If the fan is blowing all the time, the air in your home is constantly being filtered and replaced, so your indoor air quality should remain top-notch. This can be a lifesaver for people who suffer from asthma or other respiratory ailments. Of course, this does mean you have to be more diligent about changing the filter in your air conditioning system, or it will become clogged and bring down your overall efficiency. Furthermore, your electricity bills will be higher and you will probably have to replace the fan motor more frequently. Finally, using the fan when the air conditioner isn't cooling can also draw humid air back into the house, which can counteract some of the comfort you gain from the continuous air distribution.
The Choice Is Yours
Overall, it's up to you to decide if you prefer saving money on your electric bills or keeping your ventilation system running all the time. You can also investigate options like a variable speed blower or hooking your air conditioning system into a smart thermostat that can give you more than two fan settings. If you need more help deciding what to do or getting your fan set up properly, have an HVAC technician come lend a hand.