There are a lot of benefits to having a brand new exhaust fan installed in your bathroom.
These convenient appliances effortlessly remove steam, bad odors, and airborne contaminants, and, in that way, completely remove the need to crack open a window after taking a shower. What is more, they get the job done quietly, and some models can even warm your bathroom and replace existing overhead lighting.
If you want to get the most out of your bathroom exhaust fan, you will want to get a timer switch for it. As its name suggests, a wall switch of this type allows a homeowner to select a preset time after which the bathroom fan will turn off automatically, and, in that way, save you some money on the electricity bill. Without a doubt, the best bathroom exhaust fan should be paired with the best bathroom fan timer switch.
In this article, I will talk about:
- The features of the best bathroom fan timer switches;
- The pros and cons of LED indicator lights;
- The importance of having a neutral wire;
…and more. Let’s dive right into it!
- 1 Overview of the Best Bathroom Fan Timer Switches
- 2 The Best Bathroom Fan Timer Switch
- 3 Reviews of the Best Bathroom Fan Timer Switches
- 4 The Benefits of Owning a Fan Timer Switch
- 5 LED Indicator Lights
- 6 Neutral Wire
Overview of the Best Bathroom Fan Timer Switches
|Model||Lutron Maestro||Woods 59008||Enerlites HET06||BN-LINK Heavy-Duty||Maxxima 1875|
|No. of presets||6||4||6||30||6|
|Countdown range||5 - 60 min||10 - 60 min||5 min - 4 hrs||2 - 60 min||1 - 60 min|
|Dimensions||4.69” x 2.94” x 0.3”||6” x 3” x 2.25”||1.7” x 1.47” x 2.75”||4.1” x 2” x 2”||5.5” x 3” x 2.2”|
The Best Bathroom Fan Timer Switch
- The whole front part is one huge on/off button
- The most elegantly-designed timer switch
- Intuitive rocker button for time selection
- Countdown range from 5 to 60 minutes
- Each button has an indicator light
The Lutron Maestro deserves the status of my #1 pick for a couple of good reasons.
First of all, this is an extremely well-made timer switch – not only is it made out of sturdy plastic, but it also sports an elegant design that fits well with any bathroom décor.
It has six countdown settings – ranging from 5 to 60 minutes – and you can select one of these via the intuitive rocker button. The on/off button, on the other hand, is actually the entire frontal part of the switch. It doesn’t get more user-friendly than this!
Reviews of the Best Bathroom Fan Timer Switches
1. Woods 59008
- No. of preset options: 4
- Countdown range: 10 – 60 min
- Dimensions: 6” x 3” x 2.25”
If you have a really tight budget and want to save as much money as possible, look no further – Woods 59008 is the cheapest fan timer switch in my roundup. It’s a versatile and energy-saving model that you can obtain for less than $15.
On this timer switch, you will find 4 preset countdown time options – 10, 20, 30, and 60 minutes. Each of these preset options has a small LED indicator light next to it, helping you know which setting you’ve picked. There is also a fifth light that tells whether the bathroom exhaust fan is on or off.
All of this is controlled via a single button, which is situated right below the countdown time options. This kind of one-touch convenience is always a big plus in my book.
One thing I particularly like about this model is that it has a wiring diagram printed on its housing, which makes installing it as easy as it gets.
- A wiring diagram printed on the housing
- A single button: one-touch convenience
- The most budget-friendly option
- Bright LED indicator lights
- Only 4 countdown settings
2. Maxxima 1875
- No. of preset options: 6
- Countdown range: 1 – 60 min
- Dimensions: 5.5” x 3” x 2.2”
The next fan timer switch on my list is Maxxima 1875, another relatively affordable model with easy-to-use controls and a simple, minimalistic design.
Unlike the timer switch described above – Woods 59008 – this model has 7 buttons instead of just one. Besides the large on/off button, it has six additional buttons for each of the preset countdown options. These are 1, 5, 10, 20, 30, and 60 minutes.
Each of these buttons has its own indicator light. Once you’ve selected one of the preset countdown settings, the indicator light will flash for the last 10 seconds of the chosen time. This lets the homeowner know that the bathroom exhaust fan is about to shut down.
Other things worth mentioning are that Maximma 1875 comes together with a wall plate and the mounting screws as well as that it requires a neutral wire for installation. It’s also one of the best bathroom fan switches overall.
- Each of the 7 buttons has its own LED light
- Simple, user-friendly design
- Easy to install
- The buttons are somewhat flimsy
3. BN-LINK Heavy-Duty
- No. of preset options: 30
- Countdown range: 2 – 60 min
- Dimensions: 4.1” x 2” x 2”
Here we have yet another affordable option – the BN-LINK Heavy-Duty timer switch. Unlike the previously reviewed models, this one sports a rotary knob instead of buttons.
The biggest advantage of this feature is that there are 30 preset countdown settings you can choose from, ranging from 2 minutes up to 1 hour. Once the chosen time elapses, the switch will turn off the bathroom exhaust fan automatically.
Another advantage of opting for a switch with a rotary knob is that it can be easily controlled with wet hands or in pitch darkness. Besides bathroom fans, BN-LINK Heavy-Duty also works with heat lamps, shut-off lights, and other appliances.
Lastly, the model arrives together with two different switch plates, making it easy to match it with the rest of your bathroom’s décor.
- Works with lamps and other appliances
- Convenient, easy-to-use rotary knob
- Two different switch plates included
- 30 preset countdown time options
- No indicator light
4. Enerlites HET06
- No. of preset options: 6
- Countdown range: 5 min – 4 hrs
- Dimensions: 1.7” x 1.47” x 2.75”
Next up is Enerlites HET06, a significantly more expensive timer switch than the ones described above. It’s an exceptionally well-designed device and a great addition to any bathroom.
The best thing about this particular model is its countdown range. You can go from 5 minutes all the way up to 4 hours, which is quite impressive and undoubtedly deserves special words of praise.
Besides the large on/off button, Enerlites HET06 has six smaller buttons as well – each for one of the six countdown settings – and all of them have their own indicator lights. To install it, you will need a load, ground, hot, and a neutral wire.
The switch itself is made out of impact and heat-resistant plastic and comes together with a wall plate. All in all, a great deal for the money.
- Made out of impact & heat-resistant plastic
- Each button has a blue LED indicator light
- 6 preset settings, up to 4 hours
- Comes with a wall plate
- A bit difficult to install
5. Lutron Maestro
- No. of preset options: 6
- Countdown range: 5 – 60 min
- Dimensions: 4.69” x 2.94” x 0.3”
And here it is – the winner of the “fan timer switch battle”. The only flaw of this model is that it’s expensive. Everything else is on point.
Designed by a world-renowned brand, this device is made out of sturdy plastic and sports a genuinely elegant design. The entire frontal part of this switch is one big on/off button. To select the desired countdown option, on the other hand, you have to use the intuitive rocker button on the right.
There are six countdown settings here – ranging from 5 to 60 minutes – and each of them has its own indicator light. Lutron Maestro is very easy to install in fits into all standard decorator-style openings.
In summary, it’s a simple but extremely well-made timer switch that deserves the status of my number #1 pick.
- Elegant, minimalistic design
- Intuitive rocker button
- Large on/off button
- Sturdy construction
The Benefits of Owning a Fan Timer Switch
If there’s one thing home inspectors tend to recommend to their clients, it’s definitely upgrading their bathroom exhaust fans with timer switches.
As I mentioned in the intro, this convenient device allows a homeowner to select one of the few preset countdown time options. After the chosen time period elapses, the venting appliance will turn off automatically.
What makes these simple devices so great for bathroom exhaust fans? The primary reason why you’d want to get a timer switch is that you’re supposed to leave your fan running for about half an hour after you’ve taken a shower.
Obviously, this extra time allows the machine to properly and completely eliminate all of the humid air from the bathroom. I don’t even have to mention how useful this can be for forgetful homeowners and for those who tend to neglect to use their bathroom exhaust fans.
The delay-off timers can be separated into two main categories – the rotary knob ones and the push-button ones.
Rotary Knob Timer Switches
As its name suggests, a rotary knob delay-off timer features no buttons. It’s just a simple knob that you can turn clockwise and counterclockwise in order to select your desired countdown time option.
A timer switch of this type will have a look that’s very similar to that of the knob you’d find on a standard toaster oven.
Push-Button Timer Switches
The push-button delay-off timer, on the other hand, usually consists of 5 to 7 square-shaped buttons. There is usually one big on/off button and several smaller ones with which you can choose your desired countdown time option.
And while these kinds of timer switches don’t offer as many countdown time options as the rotary knob ones, they’re somewhat easier to use.
LED Indicator Lights
Most of the bathroom fan timer switches in my roundup come equipped with LED indicator lights. The purpose of these lights is quite obvious – they confirm that you have selected the correct countdown time option.
On top of that, the LED indicator lights usually provide a bit of illumination, making it easy to choose the desired setting even in pitch darkness.
However, this is also the primary reason why you don’t want to install a bathroom fan timer switch in your bedroom. On some models, these LED indicator lights are very bright and can be quite annoying when you’re trying to get some sleep.
The last thing worth mentioning here is that some timer switches have LED lights whose brightness changes as there’s less and less remaining time. Obviously, this gives the homeowner a convenient visual cue as to how much longer will the bathroom exhaust fan be in operation. For more information, read our post on the Best Bathroom Exhaust Fans With LED Lights.
One issue with the installation of these devices is that some models can’t be set up without a neutral wire.
Does the wall switch of your bathroom exhaust fan have a neutral wire? If it doesn’t, you will likely have to install one yourself in order to get a timer switch to work.
Also, in case you live in an older house, there’s a pretty good chance you have no neutral conductors. Check whether this is true or not by shutting off the power and removing the wall switch.
See our guide on how to fix a bathroom fan that stopped working as well.