Extractor Fan Options?

I need an extractor fan for a small utility room in my extension, and to replace another aged noisy one in a bathroom.

I would like to control it/them through Smartthings. Has anyone done this or have suggestions ?

Options seem to be
1/ buy a basic fan and stick a smart switch on it and link with routines to humidity/motion sensor etc.
2/ VentAxia Svara - Bluetooth app controlled
3/ Blauberg Silent Extractor Fan (£200!!) controlled via Wi-Fi.

As usual manufacturers seem to be dinosaurs as seems an obvious thing to make zigbee/zwave/hub controllable.

Automated control seems ideal with routines to stop fan coming on at night and to run at different speeds/noise levels at different times etc. Not sure how fan speed could be controlled using option 1.

Any help/pointers/suggestions ?

I think option one is the most popular. As long as the load specs match, it’s very easy to do and gives you the advantage of also having a switch on the wall.

Zooz makes a two in one switch for exactly this purpose for people who have an extractor fan and a dimmable light in a bathroom or laundry room.

I don’t think it’s a matter of device manufacturers being dinosaurs, but rather of their understanding that the intense vibration of a fan itself can be really hard on the radio and other parts of the smart controller, so you might as well move that to the switch or the cost can become prohibitive. :thinking:


Thank you.
Is there going to be any way to control the speed of the fan though ?
Many fans seem to just have a speed setting switch or jumper hidden under the casing - set & forget. But I would like to be able to switch the fan speed between trickle/low speed and high speed using Smartthings.

(I won’t need a double module as I have already planned separate control for the lights.)

Most household extractor fans are single speed, that’s why people recommend the switch option.

Variable speed is a whole different kind of physics with a whole different kind of controller.

Obviously, there are a number of options for three speed ceiling fans, but those are designed to have the speed controlled from a wall controller.

Many of the ones that have a jumper setting as you described are not intended to change speed while in operation. That’s why they have that kind of control.

So you have a couple of options here if you want to be able to change speed automatically.

While most variable speed smart fans are ceiling fans of the kind intended to blow air around the room, rather than extract it, there are some made for garden sheds, barns, and chicken coops that are extractor fans. So there are a couple of options.

  1. find a variable speed extractor fan intended to work with a manual wall control. Then you’ll probably be able to wire it to a smart variable speed fan control and you’ll be all set. That’s how people make dumb ceiling fans smart.

  2. find a smart variable speed extractor fan intended for DIY residential projects. I’d start by looking at Home Depot. Then you can figure out if there’s a way to integrate it with smartthings.

  3. find a smart variable speed fan intended for commercial projects. These exist, but they tend to be very expensive, $700 or more. If you’re interested in anything like that, let us know, and I’ll see what I can find.

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I’ve been on a similar hunt to integrate a super quiet bathroom exhaust fan with ST but I need it to be temperature controlled. I would prefer to have a thermostatic switch vs a temp sensor and a smart switch. Haven’t been able to find any solution so far. Ideas?

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Our home in New England is a Net Zero certified home–basically an Energy Star place on steroids. Everything, including bathroom fans, must be rated at some minimal level to allow the house to be “certified.” (The house is pretty efficient overall, was certified to a HERS score of 43–where zero is no energy needed and 150 & higher are existing homes).

The bathroom fans are variable speed–with their own built-in controllers–made by Panasonic. They adjust speed based on backpressure, i.e., run only enough to create a certain pressure and not suck to much heated or cooled air out of the house any more than necessary. The fan is a Panasonic FV-0511VQL1 “WhisperCeiling DC” unit. It is super quiet. But, as @JDRoberts indicated, expensive. I think it retails in the US somewhere in the $600 range–perhaps if you had a contractor friend who can buy it wholesale it might be a possibility. We run the fan on a simple bath fan timer, but it could be controlled by a switch run by SmartThings…

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Hi John -
Appreciate the feedback. My use case is outside the norm for an exhaust fan. I have a large wine storage cabinet with a temperature control unit that sits in a small enclosed space. Because there is no air circulation, I want to put in a very quiet exhaust fan and have it only come on when the temperature goes above the operating temp range of the cooling unit. I probably don’t need it to be integrated with ST (could go with a standard attic fan thermostat), but would like to be able to monitor the temperature and change the set point should I need to. Earlier today, I did find the Sonoff THR316D Smart Temperature and Humidity Monitoring Switch which can control dry contacts and a line load. I believe it’s Wi-Fi only and doesn’t integrate with ST, but has it’s own app. I also saw a similar model from Moes that has Alexa support so I could proxy it through to ST using virtual devices, but I’d prefer something with a native integration. I also think Tuya makes one and it is supported on SmartLife, but I’ve found through experience that not all Tuya devices are supported in the Linked Services of ST.

I’ll keep looking, but might give the Moes a whirl just for fun.

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Hi h0ckeyski8r,
Not sure why you want to avoid a separate smart temp/humidity sensor and smart switch as that seems the most obvious solution ?

On the fans side, have you considered computer/IT equipment case fans as they might suit your use case (but not mine).


Got it! (I’d be happy to help sample that wine, LOL! :wine_glass:)

Perhaps to just be certain the room temperature is okay, regardless of SmartThings issues or the Internet? I suppose monitoring it via SmartThings would be useful: sending a notification when temperature is out of whack!

Very interesting application!

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