Should a furnace fan run continuously?
Theoretically, is it more/less cost effective for me to run the furnace blower continuously (24 hrs/day) throughout the winter? I feel that doing so provides more balanced comfort throughout the house but don't know if it will result in less gas usage. Monitoring gas bills will take a number of years with a number of factors like shifting weather patterns (timing, temperatures etc.) to take into account. I also have a cascade humidifier and I'm positive that the continuous blower operation keeps the humidity levels higher (30-40). Calgary has a very dry climate in the winter. I also am guessing that the heat exchanger is not subject to as much rapid expansion/contraction which may result in longer life. Is that likely? Thank you for your comments.
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Running your furnace blower continuously may yield a more comfortable home (although some people complain about the house feeling drafty), and it may yield higher humidity levels (although the evaporation rate is significantly reduced when the air passing over the humidifier is at room temperature) but it will increase your overall energy costs. The cost of electricityto run the blower will far outweigh any gas consumption savings. Yours is an interesting argument about reduced heat exchanger stress. Normally, the blower doesn't kick on until the heat exchanger has reached a certain temperature (to avoid the feeling of drafts). This control could be set so that it comes on with just the slightest rise in temperature of the heat exchanger. This would negate any of the advantages of running your blower 24/7.
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