How Often Should You Run Your HVAC’s Furnace Blower Fan?

The furnace blower fan installed inside your HVAC system performs double duty, depending on the season. In winter, the furnace blower fan activates when the furnace cycles on and circulates warm air through the ductwork. During summer, it’s circulating cool air when the central air conditioner activates.

However, there’s a third option to consider: Since the blower fan can run independently of both the furnace and the AC in most systems, you might opt to select the “Fan Only” setting on your thermostat to run the blower fan alone more frequently. Here are some examples of why you might choose to run the system’s fan more often.

  • Improved air quality. Circulating air even when the furnace or AC are not cycled on means more continuous filtration. The “Fan Only” setting keeps air moving throughout the ductwork and, more importantly, through the system air filter too. This means airborne dust and other particulates and allergens are more consistently extracted from the indoor environment.
  • More-uniform temperatures. Running the fan alone more frequently keeps air circulating to all living spaces. This evens out temperatures inside the home and helps eliminate cold or hot spots that may occur in certain parts of the house.
  • Reduced humidity. Excess humidity typically accumulates in bathrooms and the kitchen. By running the fan more often, circulating air dries out these areas more rapidly, makes the indoor environment more comfortable and inhibits mildew and mold growth.

What About the Cost?

Running the furnace blower fan alone consumes about 1/10 the electricity as running the air conditioner along with it. In a typical HVAC system, the fan running by itself consumes about 500 watts of electricity. The cost of fan operation alone will of course be dependent on how many hours per day you choose the “Fan Only” selection on your thermostat.

Ask the HVAC professionals at Paitson Bros. for more information about the benefits — and costs — of running the furnace blower fan alone. Next year, we’ll celebrate 100 years of service to the Terre Haute community.

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    Jeff Paitson Jeff Paitson is a third generation business owner who continues to run the business with the same values that have been passed down from previous generations since 1922.

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