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Simplify Your Spring Cleaning With This Thermostat Trick

Okay, so the term “spring cleaning” is sort of misleading. Keeping the house clean and dust-free isn’t just a spring thing, it’s an all-year, never-ending job.

The good news? We’ve got a cool trick for you that will help simplify your cleaning chores.

Just head over to your thermostat and switch your fan setting to “ON”.

how to keep my home dust free

When dusting, make sure your thermostat fan setting is set to ON, not AUTO.

We’ll explain how this secret thermostat trick helps you keep your home clean and dust-free.

How the thermostat “ON” setting is your personal duster

First off, your thermostat fan has 2 settings:

  1. AUTO: the fan runs only during cooling cycles
  2. ON: the fan runs non-stop, even if the AC isn’t going through a cooling cycle

So what does this have to do with cleaning? Well, when your fan is set to ON, it’s constantly pulling air into the AC system—even if your AC isn’t actually producing cold air at the time. And, as you’re cleaning, you absolutely want air to circulate non-stop through your AC system.

Why? Well, when you vacuum, dust or sweep, you’re actually kicking dust and dirt up into the air. Now, if your fan is off in between cooling cycles (i.e. in AUTO mode), all that dust will eventually just land on another surface.

BUT if your AC fan is set to ON while you’re cleaning, all that dust and dirt gets sucked into the AC system, where it’s then trapped in your AC filter.

how a filter cleans your air

The fan pulling air into the AC system, where the filter “cleans” your air.

Beware: only use the “ON” fan setting sparingly…

Now that you know our little thermostat cleaning secret, we should probably warn you: only use the ON setting when you’re cleaning.

Why? Well, leaving the thermostat fan setting to ON (instead of AUTO) can lead to:

  • High indoor humidity levels. For more information on how the ON fan setting increases humidity, check out our blog “This One Thermostat Setting Is Making You Sweaty
  • Higher energy bills. Like all motorized appliances, your AC fan requires electricity to run. So a continuously running fan eats up more energy.

Want to take your cleaning to the next level? Upgrade your filter.

Here’s the thing: you’re most likely using a fiberglass filter (the most basic kind) that’s only designed to capture larger pollutants like dust and dirt.

Which is bad news because there are so many smaller contaminants in your home’s air that a fiberglass filter can’t catch, like:

  • Mold spores
  • Bacteria
  • Pet dander
  • Candle/tobacco smoke
  • Smog
  • Finer dust particles (that can damage your lungs)

The solution? Upgrade your filter’s MERV rating.

A filter’s MERV rating determines just how small of contaminants it can catch. The higher the MERV rating, the more contaminants it can catch. Residential filters typically range from MERV 1 to MERV 16 (basic fiberglass filters are typically rated MERV 1–4).

The MERV rating you need really depends on what you’re trying to achieve. For example:

  • Consider a MERV 5–8 if you’re primarily concerned with keeping your home clean and your HVAC system healthy.
  • Consider a MERV 13 if you cook a lot, have pets and/or someone in the home has asthma (or any kind of respiratory issue).

Want to learn more about cleaning your home’s air?

Just contact us.

We’re happy to offer tips and help you choose the air quality product you need.

Related reading:

Categories: Indoor Air Quality