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Thermostat settings: On vs. Auto

Blog Thermostat settings: On vs. Auto

The “On” and “Auto” settings on your thermostat direct the fan in your home’s heating and cooling system. But what do each of these settings mean? You may have been told it’s better to keep your thermostat set to “Auto” all the time. Or you may not know the difference between the two settings at all.

In this post, we’ll look at what each setting means for your home, your HVAC equipment, and your overall comfort. We’ll also discuss the best circumstances to use each in order to maximize your comfort while saving you money.

What's the difference?

What "on" means

If your thermostat is set to “on”, this means that the fan is constantly running, even when your air conditioner or furnace are not. One benefit to keeping the thermostat set to “on” is that it will distribute the cold or warm air more evenly throughout your home. This setting will use more energy, however, and you’ll have to change your air filter more often.

What "auto" means

If the thermostat is set to “auto”, this means that the fan is only running when your furnace or air conditioner is running. Once your home has reached the desired temperature as set by the thermostat, the fan will shut off. This setting is meant to save energy and money. One drawback to relying on “Auto” all the time is that there won’t be an even distribution of heat or AC throughout your home. Also, since the fan is constantly turning on and off, this will cause more wear and tear over time.

Which is better?

The simple answer? Neither! One is not necessarily better than the other. Rather, each setting is meant to be used at different times and under different conditions.

For example, if you are looking to save money on energy costs, you may consider using “Auto”. If you’re having company and want a more even distribution of warm or cool air, you may choose to set the fan to “On” for a couple days. Since the air is being cycled through your filter more often, this setting will also improve the air quality in your home.

At the end of the day, it all depends on you!

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