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Understanding the Difference Between Auto and On Thermostat Settings

Katy AC ServicesWhen you set the thermostat of a heating, ventilation and air conditioning system, the unit heats or cools, and fans blow conditioned air into the living space. When the set point is reached, the heating or cooling function stops. However, thermostats have settings that control fans independently. With the “auto” setting, fans turn off when the air conditioner shuts off. With the “on” setting, fans run continuously. There are advantages and disadvantages to each setting. A Katy AC services professional can help you save energy and increase comfort by showing you how to adjust your thermostat.

Auto Function

Most thermostats allow you to control how long fans operate. On the auto setting, fans stay on throughout the heating or cooling cycle. When the desired temperature is reached, the unit and the fans stop. Fans use less energy on the auto setting because they only run when the furnace or air conditioner is on. In addition, fans last longer with fewer starts and stops.

The disadvantage is that no air circulates when fans are off. You may experience hot or cold spots in a room. However, hot and cold spots can also be a sign of other problems with your unit and may require Katy AC services. If uneven indoor temperatures cause discomfort, call a licensed Katy air conditioning repair company to investigate the issue.

On Function

Fans switched to the on function run continuously. When the desired temperature is reached, the heating or cooling component powers down. However, fans continue to run. Fans help keep air more evenly distributed. Indoor air quality devices, such as UV filters and air filters, continue to operate. There is less wear and tear on the fans with fewer starts and stops.

There are also disadvantages to running fans continuously. They use more power, resulting in higher utility bills. Air moving constantly through the system may cause air filters to clog up more frequently. During the winter, air blowing through registers feels cold when the furnace is not on. During the summer, rooms may feel more humid because fans do not remove moisture, an important issue in the humid climate of the Houston area.

Other Options

New technology offers other options. Variable speed units respond to heating and cooling demands. Unlike standard units that are either on or off, these systems run at low power for longer periods when demand is low and power up when temperatures rise. This saves energy, reduces wear and tear on components and eliminates hot and cold spots in the living space.

For residential and commercial Katy AC repair, installation and maintenance services, call Air Depot. Our NATE-certified technicians service all brands of HVAC equipment. We take the time to explain problems and offer solutions that meet your indoor comfort needs and budget. For more information about using your thermostat to regulate energy efficiency and comfort and other Katy AC services, call Air Depot at 281-477-3700.

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