Fan Mode On AC: What It Is & When To Use It?

Many people are familiar with air conditioners, however, they do not know their modes well. The fan mode, a common function in modern air conditioners, is the one that raises curiosity. 

Simply put, the fan mode is a feature that activates the fan only when the air conditioner is turned on. It promotes air circulation but has little effect on temperature or humidity.

Of course, there is more information you need to know about the fan mode. I will walk you through what the fan mode on AC is, its benefits and drawbacks, and then guide you on when to use it in this post.

Why not spend a few minutes investigating a useful mode in your air conditioner? Let’s get started!

What is the fan mode on AC?

The fan mode on ac is a mode that will turn off the compressor and only keeps the fan running. The mode will be activated when you press the button with a fan icon on the ac remote.

It is an independent mode. That is to say, you can’t run it with the cool mode or heat mode together. 

Since the compressor is turned off in this mode, your air conditioner will not cool, heat, or dehumidify the air anymore. The fan draws the air into the machine and then expels it as the fan blades turn. 

Benefits of using a fan mode

Even if you understand what the fan mode is, you may be wondering why you should use it. Let’s look at its advantages, and you’ll find the answer.

Save energy and money

If your home is well-insulated, the temperature will not fluctuate significantly over time. Furthermore, the temperature is usually lower in the morning or at night than during the day.

Instead of using the cooling mode, you can use the fan mode. Because the compressor is turned off, energy consumption is reduced, lowering the number on the electricity bill.

In addition, the fan mode can help to distribute the cool air, amplifying the cooling effect economically.

Another way to save money is to turn on the ECO mode, which will automatically turn on the compressor and fan when the temperature rises above the set temperature.

Prevent mold from growing inside the AC

Air conditioners both dehumidify and cool the air. Excess moisture in the air will turn to water, with some of it remaining on the evaporator coil or accumulating in the drain pan.

If you abruptly turn off the AC and do not use it for an extended period of time, the remaining moisture in the machine can promote mold growth, making your ac smell musty.

Enabling the fan mode can speed up moisture evaporation in the coils and drain pan, reducing the likelihood of mold and mildew growth.

Improve indoor air quality

To get a better cooling or heating effect, we will close the doors and windows when running our air conditioner units. This will make the air stale, posing health risks to us.

If you have respiratory problems, you should avoid being in such an environment for an extended period of time.

The fan mode can circulate the air indoors, and the air filter can filter out allergens, which can enhance indoor air quality.

White noise

This is not a well-known benefit of the AC fan mode. Some people like to turn on this mode at night to produce white noise, which will make them sleep better.

Extend your AC’s lifespan

Again, the fan mode can allow the compressor to take a break. Accordingly, the compressor gets less tear and wear. You can expect the machine to last longer.

Drawbacks of using a fan mode

Every coin has two sides. The fan mode has some drawbacks that you should keep in mind.

No cooling effect

Given that the compressor is turned off, your AC in the fan mode will not cool the air. While the breeze may make you feel cool at first, the hot air from outside will eventually make you feel hot.

No dehumidifying effect 

Summer days are usually very humid, and an air conditioner can take away the excess moisture that makes you uncomfortable. However, that is not the case for the fan mode.

It will not dehumidify the air because the evaporator coil doesn’t work. Worse yet, it may increase the humidity level a bit because the moisture in the coils and pan will enter your room.

Low efficiency 

Compared with a regular ceiling fan, the ceiling fan is much more powerful in moving air around the room. It consumes less electricity than an AC in fan mode but makes your room fresh more quicker.

When should I use my AC fan mode?

The best time to use the fan mode is the night and morning. Usually, the outside temperature is lower, and the cooling effect doesn’t fade away entirely. Add to that the white noise it creates, you will have a good sleep without increasing electricity consumption too much. 

It is also appropriate to use when the indoor air is stagnant. You will feel much better because the fan mode move the air constantly.

Beyond that, turning on the fan mode every time you want to turn off your air conditioner is a good idea. It can prevent mold growth, which can damage the parts in the AC.

Does fan mode on AC bring in outside air?

No. The fan mode only makes use of the air in your house unless you open the door or window. 

The fan motor drives the fan blades to turn so as to pull the air into the device. Then the air will blow out later. It is similar to a regular desk fan.

How much electricity does a fan mode in AC use?

While I have said that the fan mode can save some electricity, many people want to know how much electricity it can use. Here is the answer:

The cooling mode typically consumes 2000 to 5000 watts per hour, whereas the fan mode only consumes 60 to 100 watts per hour.


The fan mode on an air conditioner is a useful feature that many people neglect. It can help with saving energy and preventing mold growth. 

If the night is not too hot, you can try using the fan mode; it will not only save you money, but the white noise it produces will help you sleep better.

Why not give it a shot today?

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Liz Yang is the founder of Airsmartly. She has been working at home for a few years and realizes that the performance of the HVAC system plays such an important role in our life. She has tested a lot of products in person, like humidifiers, air purifiers, dehumidifiers, and ACs, and wants to share tips about using or troubleshooting these products with you. Her uncle is an HVAC expert with over 30 years of experience in the field, and often offers assistance when she is unsure how to handle a situation. He is also in charge of reviewing the articles on this site.