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Should I Set My AC Fan to On or Auto?

August 11, 2022 | Blog

Modern thermostats are becoming complex pieces of technology that can perform various functions in any home. Thermostats come with many customization options to help make your home comfortable. Even if your thermostat is not the latest and greatest on the market, one of the customization features found on most thermostats is the “on” and “auto” switch.

Many homeowners have questions about what “on” and “auto” mean and which setting their thermostat should be on. Skelton’s Heating and Cooling is an air conditioning company that has helped homeowners in the Birmingham area with this age-old question for years. Below we’ve broken down these settings to help you understand your system better and choose the setting that’s right for you!

What’s the difference between “on” and “auto”?

The “on” and “auto” switch on your air conditioner’s thermostat controls the blower. The blower is what helps circulate cool and hot air throughout your space until your desired temperature is reached.

When your fan is “on,” your system’s blower will constantly run. It will blow air regardless of whether an actual heating or cooling cycle is happening. Even when your home has reached the temperature you want, the fan will still run.

When the fan setting on your thermostat is set to “auto,” your blower will automatically run only when a heating or cooling cycle occurs. Once your home reaches your desired temperature, the fan will shut off.

Which setting is best?

Setting your fan to “auto” or “on” depends on personal preference. There is no right or wrong choice to make. We’ve complied significant pros and cons of each setting. These pros and cons will help you find which setting is right for your home.

The On Setting Pros

  • When your fan is constantly running, that means air is continuously being cycled through your air filter. This helps clean your air of dust and debris.
  • Cool and warm air is evenly distributed better throughout your home.

The On Setting Cons

  • The “on” setting is an energy drainer. Due to the constant running, you will likely see an increase in your energy bill.
  • You will have to increase your AC maintenance, by doing proper tune-ups routinely to ensure your blower isn’t experiencing burnout and change your air filters.

The Auto Setting Pros

  • This setting is an energy saver. The blower is only running during heating and cooling cycles, so the energy in between is being saved.
  • Your home will experience better dehumidification because your coils will have the chance to drip the excess moisture.

The Auto Setting Cons

  • Your home will experience cool and hot spots. The air is less evenly distributed throughout your home, resulting in patches of cold or warm air.
  • The constant on and off nature of this setting can cause wear and tear on your system. This made lead to needing frequent repairs.

You can’t go wrong with either setting you choose, take a few days to experiment with both and see what matches your comfort the best. If you notice that neither is working for your home and believe there may be some wrong with your system, give Skelton’s Heating and Cooling a call! We are experts in air conditioning replacement and maintenance and will have your HVAC system operating to the highest standard in no time!

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We had a great experience with Skelton’s! Our dog damaged the wiring on our A/C condenser, and it stopped working while the highs were still in the 80’s. Skelton’s came out the next day and got our condenser working again. Would recommend them and use them again!

Mary B.

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Skelton’s AC is very professional and responsive. I was able to request service via an online service request form one evening and was called promptly the next morning. I was subsequently able to have service performed within 2 hours. When your AC is not working this is like finding gold! I highly recommend them.

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Outstanding service. Professional installers with attention to detail. Prompt and courteous team that showed up on time and worked quickly and efficiently. My new unit was shown to me completely and they helped me set up my wireless/smart thermostat. I would highly recommend. Reasonably priced top notch installation and cleaning.

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