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Should I Run the HVAC Fan if the AC Or Furnace is Not Needed?

Written by Comfort Solutions HVAC on . Posted in .

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If you have ever looked at your thermostat and noticed the fan setting on it, you might have wondered whether there was any advantage of keeping it on, even when you are not cooling or heating your home. While many people do use their HVAC fan for air circulation, even when the AC or furnace is not operating, there are some important factors to consider when deciding whether this is a good idea.

5 Things to Know About Running Your HVAC Unit Without the AC On

Before turning on your HVAC fan independently of the AC or furnace, it is important to understand how doing so may impact the overall performance and longevity of your HVAC unit. Here are 5 things to know about running your HVAC fan: 

  • It keeps your air fresh: Certainly, a big advantage to a continuous fan running is that it will keep air circulating throughout your home’s ventilation system, even when cooling or heating is not needed. This prevents the air from getting stale and can increase overall comfort, though an alternative to this would be just opening the windows when possible. 
  • This does not necessarily save energy: There is a school of thought that says that in warm weather you can get away with just running your system’s fan, rather than the AC and that this will still have some cooling effect. The thought is that you can cool your home but save on energy consumption. While it is true that running the fan on its own uses less energy, this also puts excessive strain on the HVAC system which can lead to costly breakdowns.
  • Turning it off and on again can cause wear: Similarly, HVAC units are not meant to be continuously turned on and off. The assumption is that when the weather gets hot or cold enough for cooling or heating, the unit will then be continuously used for days or weeks on end. By relying on the HVAC’s fan to keep air circulating throughout the house and turning it on and off more frequently, you increase the strain put on it and make damage more likely.
  • Filters will not last as long: Another drawback of a continuous fan running in your HVAC unit is that you will burn through filters faster than normal. Even if you are not cooling or heating your home, the continuous flow of air will increase the buildup of dust and other particles. This is not necessarily a bad thing if you make sure to change the filter when needed, but it does increase costs.
  • More maintenance may be required: In the long term, continuous running of the HVAC unit’s fan is also putting continuous strain on the system itself. These are not meant to run constantly throughout the year and doing so reduces the overall lifespan you can expect from the unit. This can mean it will need repairs more often and even need to be replaced sooner than expected. 

Whenever questions arise about the best methods for using your HVAC unit, we always recommend consulting with an experienced technician in your area, who can explain to you the pros and cons. In the case of whether or not to run the fan, a skilled technician might be able to assess your property and recommend alternative solutions to improving air circulation, even during mild weather. 

At Comfort Solutions, we pride ourselves on working closely with our customers to ensure that they get the best possible outcomes from their HVAC installations, maximizing the livability of your home. With our sterling reputation for customer satisfaction and special services like 24/7 emergency responsiveness, we guarantee that all your HVAC needs are taken care of.

To learn more about your HVAC unit and how best to use it, consult with our team of experts at Comfort Solutions. Call us at 610-438-9300 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.