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ON vs AUTO: One of These Thermostat Settings Costs You More Money

on vs auto

Ever notice the “ON” or “AUTO” buttons on your thermostat?

If you’ve never looked at these settings, it’s time to do so.

Here’s why: You may be wasting money if you leave your thermostat set to ON instead of AUTO.

We’ll explain why the ON setting can waste money. But first, let’s look at the difference between ON and AUTO...

The difference between ON and AUTO

Both of these thermostat settings control your AC blower, which is the component that pulls in warm air to be cooled by your AC system.

Your blower fan is located inside your air handler (the indoor part of your AC system).

Your blower fan is located inside your air handler (the indoor part of your AC system).

But here’s the difference: When your thermostat is set to ON, the fan will run non-stop.

On the other hand, when your thermostat is set to AUTO, the fan will run only as long as your AC system detects a need. So when your thermostat detects that your room has reached the desired temperature, it will automatically shut off the blower.

How the ON setting wastes money

The ON setting wastes money in 2 ways:

  1. It wastes energy. Your blower fan is powered by a motor, and this motor requires power (electricity) to run. If your thermostat is set to ON, it will run non-stop—even when it’s not needed—which can raise your energy bill by as much as $8 per month (almost $100 a year).
  2. It wears out your blower motor, which can lead to repairs. The longer you run your blower motor, the more wear and tear the motor will experience. And since repairing a fan motor can range from $500 to $1,200, it’s best to avoid leaving your thermostat on the ON setting.

The bottom line? Leave your thermostat set to AUTO 24/7. You’ll save money, you won’t hear your AC running non-stop and you’ll be less sweaty.

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