Run fan without running a/c?


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Old 10-11-15, 08:07 PM
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Run fan without running a/c?

Hi All,

We have baseboard hot water heat and 2 central A/C units (one upstairs, one downstairs). Is there any downside to having the fans on the a/c units run many hours/all day long in order to equally distribute the heat from the baseboards? Obviously, it would just be the fan running, and no cool air being created/distributed.

I can't figure out what the "fan only" option on the a/c units is for, and I'm wondering if this might be a benefit of the system. I'm imagining it as just circulating the air and averaging out the temperature throughout the entire house. I can't imagine the fans use all that much electricity.


Any thoughts or advise would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
 
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Old 10-11-15, 08:40 PM
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No problem at all, though IIRC fan only is usually high speed, so you may feel drafts. Blower motors are constant use rated, so it won't hurt them.
 
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Old 10-11-15, 08:51 PM
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Thanks very much for the quick response. Is there any reason to definitely use the fans all the time OR not use them all the time? I don't really understand why its an option and what the benefits of running the fans might be. Would it really even out the temperature in the house like I'm thinking? Any other drawbacks or benefits that I should be aware of?

In another part of the forum, I've asked about whole house humidifiers. Would running the fans all the time even out the humidity in the house? I imagine it would, but I'm not positive.

Thanks again!
 
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Old 10-11-15, 08:57 PM
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Running the fans all the time could help even out the warm air. The only way you'd know is to try it and see the results. The fans do use electricity and you may not receive enough help to make it cost effective.
 
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Old 10-11-15, 09:06 PM
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Thanks again for the quick response.

What is the point of such a feature, i.e., having an "on" button for the fan? Is there any reason you can think of to keep the fan running all/many hours of the day?

Thanks!
 
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Old 10-12-15, 01:33 AM
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Unless you have the electronic controlled variable speed fans in the air handlers for your A/C system the fans WILL use a significant amount of power if run 24/7. Depending on your electrical rates this could easily be ten or twenty dollars a month. You can test this by turning the fan switch to on, if you have the ECM fans then they will come on at a very low speed with hardly audible air movement. If they come on pushing the same amount of air as when the A/C is operating they you do NOT have the ECM variable speed fan motors.

Continuous fan operation can do wonders for evening out the temperatures in a poorly designed duct system or a system with poor thermostat placement. You generally do NOT want continuous fan operation when in cooling mode because the moisture condensed while the A/C compressor is operating will be re-evaporated back into the air stream when the compressor cycles off. Since lowering the inside relative humidity (by condensing the moisture) is often more important than raw cooling, running the fan continuously during the cooling season will generally leave the inside air feeling "muggy" and people will be uncomfortable.
 
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Old 10-12-15, 04:22 AM
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I always recommend to people to run the fan in the winter. Like said it will help even out the temps, plus you will get filtered air coming back. It can also help with humidity issues in the winter. Your really only talking about pennies a day in electric usage. I feel that comfort part far out ways the cost.
 
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Old 10-18-15, 07:31 PM
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Thanks for the advice, all. I've been using the fans for a few hours at a time to circulate all the heated air around, and it seems to be working well, i.e., the room with the main thermostat is now about the same temperature as all the other rooms!

Thanks again!
 
 

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