Saturday, February 6, 2010

Home Improvement - Fan Timer

For once, on a Saturday, I actually did some home improvement rather than just think about it. I swapped out a standard toggle switch for the fan in my upstairs bathroom with a fancy timer switch. Here, take a look.

I'm a big believer in removing the steam from a bathroom as quickly as possible after a shower has ended. Well, technically, BEFORE the shower starts, by flipping the switch before running the water, but you get the idea.

The fan in the bathroom when I bought the house was a very noisy one, so I replaced it with a whisper-quite model shortly after I moved in. It's been wonderful to hear only a little whir when I run the fan rather than a jet engine-like growl.

As exciting as a quiet fan is, I realized that I often leave the house for the day while the fan is still doing its business. When I return 10, 12, 14 hours later, it's still running, pushing heated or cooled air out of the building long after the morning shower's steam has left. It's also wasting 30 watts of electricity per hour. A timer switch was called for.

I don't like your typical timer switches, those with dials or sliders, and especially those that tick while they work. I looked around and finally found the one I liked - this electronic beauty with six presets. The best part is that once I select a time, one minute in the photo above, all I have to do the next time is hit the lower button and it will use that time as the "On" interval. Sloth - I love it! And less than $30 in parts; less than an hour to install. Much of that hour was trudging from upstairs to the basement to flip the breaker a few times.

I also upgraded the switch plate from plastic to metal. In my recent painting adventures (What? I haven't blogged about them yet?) I discovered many of the cheap plastic face plates in the house have cracks. I guess someone over-tightened each of them one too many times. Most were cracked before I got to them in case you're wondering. Nonetheless, the metal faceplate will hold up much better, no doubt.

Tomorrow, if it's not snowing too badly at 9:00, I go shopping for parts for my next project. I don't know what that project will be - it depends what I find at the home store that fits my designs. Hint: I've been shopping for tile for the backsplash for 16 months - I probably won't be coming back with tile. And no paint - definitely no paint.


  1. Remember to redeem the Christmas gift you got from "Charles" one of these weekends.

  2. great idea, I saw this @ HD, but it was for the light. didn't realize it works for fan too. I'll have to test it out.