This post has been updated from its original 2014 version
Proper ventilation is key to keeping a mold-free bathroom, but how often do people actually remember to turn on the exhaust fan? Perfect example is my 10 year old son who leaves the bathroom all foggy because he didn’t remember to turn on the fan switch. Apartment owners can probably experience this also, as their tenants frequently leave moldy bathrooms. The times they do remember to turn the fan switch on, they frequently leave it on and forget to turn it off. Either you don’t get the benefit of ventilation, or you waste money. A great way to solve this problem is a bath fan timer.
Bath fan timer switches are a replacement for the light and fan switches that allow for automatic timing of the length of time the exhaust fan runs. The AirCycler SmartExhaust Delay Timer Switch is a popular model that will turn the fan on automatically when the light is turned on. No more flipping two switches. A delay timer setting allows you to specify how long the fan will stay on after turning the light off, while a separate timer setting will make sure the fan operates a certain number of minutes each hour. It comes in both toggle and decora switch formats.
As an example, suppose someone turns on the bathroom light for 5 minutes, with the hourly ventilation set to 20 minutes, and delay timer for 10 minutes. After the person leaves and flips the switch off, the fan will run for the additional 10-minutes delay time, totaling 15 minutes of operation for that hour. The microprocessor in the device will keep track of this and make sure the fan runs for another 5 minutes during that hour.
If you don’t want to have the fan run after a quick visit to the bathroom, just quickly flip it on and off again after turning it off, and it will cancel the delayed start of the fan.
So consider using an exhaust fan timer to make sure your bathroom gets the proper amount of ventilation without having to rely on people to turn the fan switch on and off. Not only will you have a better ventilated and dryer bathroom environment, you’ll also save some money by not leaving the fan on too long.