The easiest way to save energy (and ultimately money) throughout the home is to regain control of the way the energy is being used. When you ventilate the bathroom, how often do you take into consideration the amount of time that should be spent ventilating, or how much energy is being wasted by over-ventilating? If you’re like most people, these two issues have probably never really crossed your mind. Using a bath fan timer allows you to attack both of these problems head on without giving it another thought.
Experts suggest operating the bathroom fan for no less than 15, and no more than 20 minutes following a shower or bath. In this amount of time, the fan exhausts the moisture out of the room. Having the fan run for more time than this does allow the room to be ventilated, but it also wastes energy, leading to higher energy costs. Operating the exhaust fan for less time than this leads to condensation problems such as molding and rotting. These can inflame respiratory-related health issues including asthma.
Timer Settings and Operation
An exhaust fan timer replaces both the light and fan switches in the bathroom. It has two main settings (ventilation and delay), and the ability to cancel the delay. It uses a microprocessor to watch and control the amount of time the fan is in operation to provide a specific amount of ventilation to the room.
- Ventilation Setting – The ventilation setting is the amount of minutes each hour that you would like the fan to be in operation.
- Delay Setting – The delay setting is the amount of time you would like to operate the fan after the light has been turned off (this allows the fan to finish the ventilation cycle after the bathroom is no longer occupied).
- Cancel Delay – If you don’t want the fan to run after the light has been turned off, simply turn the light back on again within a few seconds. This will tell the timer not to operate the fan after the light has been turned back off.
Once set, the microprocessor recognizes each of the settings and ventilates the bathroom accordingly by subtracting the delay time from the hourly ventilation time. For example, a person enters the bathroom for 5 minutes, with the hourly ventilation set to 20 minutes, and delay for 10 minutes. When unoccupied, the fan will run for the additional 10-minutes delay time, totaling 15 minutes of operation for that hour. The microprocessor will detect this and run the fan for an additional 5 minutes that hour.
If the total time the fan has been run exceeds the 20 minutes that were initially set, the bathroom fan timer will subtract that amount from the 20, and that is how long it will operate in the next hour.
Limiting the amount of energy that is used (in many cases wasted) through bathroom ventilation provides you with more control over both the indoor air quality of the home as well as the amount of energy being consumed. Whenever there is less energy being used in the home, less money spent on energy bills is sure to follow.