Leave The Fan On

Leave The Fan On

Have you ever turned on the heat in the basement even when it's warm outside? Or pumped up the air conditioning in the attic in the winter?

That's because temperatures can vary greatly within your home as hot air rises to the upper levels and lower air settles to the lower ones. The temperature can change by several degrees between the ceiling and the floor in the same room.

But that kind of change in temperature can wreak havoc with your home comfort and can cost you money in increased heating and air conditioning costs.

One way to make the temperature in your home more even is to run your furnace fan year-round, rather than turning it on only when you are using your heating and air conditioning.

Your furnace fan is the component of your HVAC system that forces hot air from your furnace and cold air from your air conditioner into your home.

Many people leave their fan on "auto," which means the fan shuts off when your furnace or air conditioner shuts off. You can change that, usually by switching your thermostat from "auto" to "fan" to allow your furnace fan to run all the time.

There are a number of benefits to running your furnace fan year-round. It will help to even out the temperature in your home so that your home is at a constant temperature day and night, summer and winter.

Running the fan year-round will also help to eliminate trapped pockets of air, helping your air to circulate evenly throughout the home. Improving air circulation will help get rid of lingering odours from the bathroom or kitchen, or the stale, musty smell that settles in many houses when the windows are closed up for winter.

The furnace fan also acts as a filtering system to filter dust and allergens through your HVAC furnace and help to reduce breathing problems.

In summer, the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation recommends running furnace fans year-round to decrease humidity, which can help to reduce moisture the presence of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and mould spores that can be harmful to your health and can even damage the structure of your home.

Some people opt to install ceiling fans and keep them running all day as a cheaper alternative to running your fan. But while ceiling fans are good at cooling the air in the immediate area, they usually aren't powerful enough to push air back to the furnace, where it can be filtered.

While running fan year-round will increase your power costs, it may also save you more in the cost of heating and cooling your home since it's cheaper to run your fan than to constantly change the temperature in your home. Newer furnaces used more advanced furnace fans that are much cheaper to run, reducing your power costs even more.

So the next time you rush to put on a sweater in July when you're cleaning out the basement, think about turning on your furnace fan instead.

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