What is AC Fan Mode?

When it comes to air conditioners, most people simply know the basics — that it’s supposed to cool your home, how to change the thermostat settings, and, ideally, you’re also changing the air filter regularly. But what about lesser-used features, such as the fan mode? What is it for anyway? And, would your AC system benefit from turning it on every now and then?

What is Fan Mode on an Air Conditioner?

The fan is a component of your AC that helps distribute air throughout your entire home. Air conditioner fans have two settings — on and auto. Each of them serves a different purpose:

  • On setting: This means the fan will constantly blow and circulate air through your home, regardless of the setting on the thermostat and whether the AC is running.
  • Auto setting: This means the fan will run while your air conditioner or heater is working to cool or heat your home. Once the AC cycles off, the fan shuts off as well.

Should I leave fan mode on?

It depends on the setting. While constantly circulating air sounds like a good idea, in practice, it increases wear and tear on your air conditioner. In addition, having the fan running on the on setting can cause additional inconveniences, such as:

Increased indoor humidity. When the AC is running, the coils inside are cool. When the AC cycles off, the coils warm up. If the fan is set to auto, it also shuts off when the air conditioner cycles off. Any water drops remaining on the coils when the AC shuts off simply remain on the coils — or drip into the drip pan — until the AC cycles on again. However, if the fan is set to on, the air flowing over the coils as the coils warm up evaporates the pooled water drops — in turn pushing the extra vapor/humidity into your home.

You may have to change air filters more frequently. No matter how clean you think your home may be, the indoor air will still have plenty of dust particles, pollutants such as dust mites, pet hair, allergens, and dead skin cells, to name a few. Setting the fan to on means that this debris will accumulate at a faster rate on your air conditioner’s filter — which results in having to change it more frequently to keep the system working optimally.

Higher energy bills. If your AC fan is set to on, it will keep running around the clock — regardless of whether your home needs the additional circulated air. This wastes energy and increases energy bills. If you want air to circulate and ensure energy efficiency, keep the fan set to auto. 

If you would still prefer to keep the fan set to on because you like the idea of air that circulates around the clock, prioritize scheduling regular HVAC maintenance. This will ensure you’re properly taking care of wear and tear — and the technician will be able to spot potential issues before you’re left with a malfunctioning air conditioner.

AC Service in Brevard County

At Colman Air, we understand that sometimes AC issues happen during the most inconvenient times. This is why we have a 24/7 AC emergency line. Call us if you need assistance ASAP, or to schedule routine HVAC maintenance.

24-HR Emergency Service: (321) 269-4565

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