Should I run my furnace fan continuously?

Posted by Bronson Shavitz

Many people ask if they should run their furnace fan continuously in fan “on” mode. Running the fan continuously does have several benefits. Continuous fan operation will constantly recirculate the air throughout the house which will help even out temperatures from room to room or floor to floor. In multi-story houses or town homes, hot air can rise up the stairs and overheat the upper floors. Turning your thermostat to fan “on” mode helps even out the temperatures by a few degrees by pulling some of the hot air back down the stairs while blowing some of the cooler, lower level air through the ductwork and to the upper floors.

If you or your family have allergies, asthma, or suffer from any respiratory ailments, getting a high performance air cleaner is a great solution and the effectiveness of that air cleaner will be greatly improved by continuous fan operation. It’s like someone cleaning all the air in your house all day long!

The third benefit of continuous fan operation is debatable and that is whether or not continuous fan operation extends or reduces the lifetime of the blower motor. One camp thinks that running the fan continuously wears out the motor sooner. The other camp believes that running the fan continuously actually extends motor life. The hardest part on any motor or engine is starting and stopping – just like stop and go traffic is harder on your car than highway mileage. So by running the fan continuously, there are less starts and stops put on the motor which may actually extend the motor’s life!

There is a drawback of slightly higher electric bills when running the fan continuously (unless you have a newer furnace that has a variable speed furnace that is very energy efficient). If you are unsure if your furnace has a high efficiency motor, just call or email us and we’d be happy to look it up for you!

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