You’ve probably heard differing opinions on how to set your air conditioner’s fan setting on your thermostat. There are two choices – “on” or “auto”. The team here at Herrmann Services has heard this question several times from customers. We put together this definitive answer to help save you money and keep you more comfortable. First, let’s explain the difference between the two settings.
“Auto” and “On” Thermostat Settings
Your air conditioner has a blower motor inside that forces the air out and through the ductwork to deliver cool air to all of the rooms in your home. The fan setting controls when this blower is on. When it is set on “auto”, the fan turns on ONLY when your system is running. When the thermostat reaches your temperature setting, the system, including the blower fan, shuts off. When the thermostat switch is set to “on”, the fan is CONSTANTLY blowing, even when your system isn’t working to heat or cool the air.
Setting the Fan to “On” Can Cost You Money
When the fan is set to “On” your AC won’t dehumidify your home as well as it should. The air conditioning cycle continues to run as the indoor coil gets colder. Now water vapor (pulled from the air) begins to condense on the coil while passing over. If the compressor is turned off, the coil warms up. The water vapor on the coil will simply sit there until the next cycle, with some of it evaporating and sitting in the air inside the coil housing. But when the fan runs continuously, the air passing over the coil as it warms up evaporates that water and puts it right back into your house raising the humidity level overall.
Higher Energy Costs
Since the fan is always running, you’re using more energy than when the fan only runs when your system is heating or cooling.
More Frequent Repairs
Obviously, when the fan runs constantly, it increases the wear and tear on your blower motor. This will lead to repairing and replacing worn parts or possibly the motor itself sooner than necessary.
If you have any thermostat, air conditioner, humidity, or blower motor questions, please feel free to call us. One of our technicians can answer your questions and even provide tips to keep you more comfortable. Call us at (513) 737-8423 or contact us online.
As homeowners, we do our best to get the most out of our appliances and save the most money possible. However, after being in the heating and cooling business for decades, the technicians here at Herrmann Services have seen some common mistakes that many homeowners make. See if you’re making any of these mistakes that are costing you money and affecting your comfort.
Not Changing or Replacing the Air Filter
A dirty air filter will reduce your air conditioner’s efficiency. Air filters remove dust and debris from the air coming into your home. Over time, the filter will become filled with the dirt and dust it collects from the air and will slow the air flowing through it making your system work harder every time it turns on. Most air filters should be cleaned or replaced (if disposable) once a month. It’s easy to forget about your filter, so put reminders on your calendar to help keep it top of mind.
Not Using a Programmable Thermostat or Using It Improperly
According to the Energy Star website, programmable thermostats can save you up to $180 a year if used properly. That’s nothing to sneeze at. These savings are based on a typical, single-family home with a 10-hour daytime setback of 8° F in winter and a setup of 7° F in summer, and an 8-hour nighttime setback of 8° F in winter and a setup of 4° F in summer.
Not Scheduling Regular Tune-Ups
Regular tune-ups help your system run more efficiently. Not only does the technician check all parts for wear and tear, but they also lubricate moving parts, tighten loose parts and check all electrical connections. This all helps your system run more efficiently, saving you money on energy bills. As an added bonus, regular maintenance checks will catch small problems before they become costly repairs and also reduce the chance of breakdowns.
Not Using Ceiling Fans
A ceiling fan can help your air conditioner run more efficiently by circulating air around the room. Ceiling fans don’t actually lower the temperature in your home, but they produce a “wind chill” effect that will make your room feel cooler. You may even be able to set your thermostat up a degree or two and not notice any difference in comfort. In the summer, make sure your ceiling fan blades rotate in a counterclockwise or “forward” direction to create cool downward airflow. In the winter, switch them so they rotate in a clockwise or “reverse” direction to redistribute warm air, which naturally rises to the ceiling.
Try these money-saving tips and stay cool this summer. If you need help with your air conditioner, give us a call at (513) 737-8423 or contact us online.