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Your Home’s Biggest Heating Energy Hog

By January 29, 2024Heating

The Effect of Your Furnace Fan on Your Electric Bill


Do you know what uses the most energy in your home?

Saving energy costs for your home can seem like a battle between cost and comfort. How high can you set your thermostat in the winter without breaking the bank? That is one common place homeowners struggle weighing the expense to feel comfortable. But beyond the thermostat, there are other factors that lead to the costs you pay each month.

Fenix Heating & Cooling has provided professional heating services to the entire Wichita area for over 4 decades. We help our customers know about the issues of energy use and its effect on monthly utility bills. Understanding how your home’s heating system affect your energy use can help save money on your monthly bills.

Furnace Energy Source

Did you know that a heating and air system uses nearly half of your home’s total energy. There are different types of energy and some cost more than others.

Natural gas is a cheaper source of energy than electric. For that reason, many people have opted to go with a gas furnace.

But even if you have a gas furnace, that unit is using electricity. An HVAC system contains several different components. The part of your heating system that typically uses the most energy is your furnace fan.

furnace fan electricity

The Furnace Fan Energy Hog

The average homeowner uses about 12,000 kilowatt-hours of energy each year. Of all that energy, furnace fans typically use up nearly 10%. To put that into perspective, that is two times the amount of electricity that your refrigerator uses.

Furnace fans are one of the largest users of electricity in the home. This is especially true if you have an older, less efficient furnace. About a decade ago, the Department of Energy (DOE) put in place the first efficiency standards for furnace fans. This federal furnace fan regulation aims to reduce electric consumption used by these fans by as much as half.


Should My Furnace Fan Be Set to Auto or On?

You can control how often your furnace fan will be running and using electricity with your thermostat.

Setting it to AUTO means the furnace fan will only come on when your home’s HVAC system is actively heating or cooling air.

Setting the furnace fan to ON means it is always on. Even if your furnace or AC is not running, that fan will continuously run.

Which one is best? That is debatable.

thermostat fan on autoIf you want to reduce energy and electric costs, you may want your fan on AUTO. This reduces how frequently it runs. It also puts less strain on your air filters, meaning you may not have to change it as much as having the fan always on.

Having your furnace fan always running can provide more comfort. A constantly running fan helps create an even distribution of hot or cool air, potentially reducing cold spots in the winter. Being always on also reduces the strain on the fan. Not having it routinely be starting and stopping may help your furnace fan last longer.

However, in the winter you may feel cold air coming through the vents if the fan is blowing without the furnace working to heat the air. If you don’t have an energy-efficient furnace, you will notice higher utility bills every month.

Every heating and cooling system is different. Some are not designed to have the fan constantly running. While others are made for the fan to run non-stop. If you have an air filtration system or air purifier unit, you may want to have the fan on auto to best improve your home’s indoor air quality.

Some of the newer models of furnaces are so energy efficient, you will be able to run your fan all the time at a much lower cost and energy use. Different furnaces have different variable speeds of operation. That plays a major role to how consistent and efficient your heating will be.

Call Fenix Heating & Cooling at (316) 945-4842 to learn how a new, high-efficient furnace can save you money in the long run.


Ways to Reduce Home Energy Usage

You can help your heating work better and use less energy in the winter by doing some of these things:

  • Open curtains on sunny winter days
  • Stop drafts in doors and windows
  • Make sure vents are open and not blocked by furniture

These energy tips can help, but they are not likely to make a dramatic impact on your bill. There are several other ways to conserve energy that will really pay off – not just in reducing the monthly bill but also by helping your furnace and air conditioner run better and have a longer life.


How Furnace Maintenance Can Help Save Energy Costs

Making sure your heating system is maintained on a regular basis will allow it to work at peak energy efficiency. It will also help prevent problems and breakdowns, saving you money on repairs or needing to replace a system that stopped working years before its time.

Be sure you change your furnace filter regularly. A clean filter allows for the best airflow of conditioned air through your vents. A clogged filter may mean your system has to work harder (and use more energy) to get your home to your desired temperature.

Get regular HVAC maintenance. There are many components of your furnace and air conditioner that can get dirty or worn. Catching issues and fixing them before they become a problem will keep your system running at peak efficiency. Fenix Heating & Cooling Air Conditioning provides a Protection Plan service to handle the maintenance of your HVAC systems throughout the year.

We love installing new units and seeing our customers enjoy smaller monthly energy bills. Call us today for a free quote on a new system at 316-945-4842.

Protection Plan Service Program

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Trust the Fenix Comfort Heroes to rescue you from your HVAC problems. Don’t wait until the first day of winter to discover your furnace is not working! Turn it on today. If it’s not running properly, contact us and we’ll work to get your system fixed before the first frost.

Join the Fenix Protection Plan Service Program today! You’ll receive some nice benefits, like 20% off all parts and labor and having the peace of mind to know that your HVAC unit is being serviced by the best comfort specialists in Wichita!

Visit our showroom to see all our trusted products on display at 802 West 2nd St., just across from Wichita’s new library, or give us a call at 316-945-4842.

Be sure to check out our current promotions to get the best deal on meeting your comfort needs!