I have a bathroom exhaust fan I installed in the basement to vent out
the cat litter smell. I let this fan run 24/7. I'm debating if I
should put it on a timer to only run a few hours a day. My question
is, how much is it probably costing me a year in electricity to run
the fan all day and all night as I have been? I understand rates vary
by area, I'm just looking for a ballpark idea.
How much is your electricity where you are? Here in Calgary, Alberta
I pay 7 cents per KWh. Fan may draw 1.0 amp or so whcih leads to ~100W
You do the rest of math. Also that'll suck out some warm air from your
house which may cause more heater run.
I don't think the cost of running the
fan is the issue. It is, how much heat
you are loosing due to exhausting 60 -
100 or more CFM of air. My plan
for the cat box is a small 2 or 3" fan
running 24/7. I've already proved that
it works in the confined space of a
motorhome. I built an enclosure under
one of the kitchen table bench seats.
The interior of the cat potty box is
covered with plastic laminate for easy
cleaning. The motorhome has an
outside hatch which we use for cleaning
the litter pan. There is a small 2"
12 volt fan in this hatch, which runs
24/7 when we are using the motorhome.
There is no smell, even when sitting at
the kitchen table. My plan for home
is to put a 3" (dryer type) hose on the
enclosed litter box. This hose will
connect to a small fan mounted to a wood
panel in the window. This will
run 24/7, but because the fan is fairly
low CFM, shouldn't remove too much
heat (or coolth in the summer).
An N-watt thing running 24/7 costs about $N/year at 10 cents/kWh,
eg $20/year for a 20 watt fan, but exhausting C cfm of house air adds
24hxCxDD Btu/year to your heating and cooling bills in a DD degree-day
climate, eg 24x60(4954+1101) = 8.7 million Btu/year for a 60 cfm fan
in Phila, with 4954 heating and 1101 cooling degree days per year
(with a 65 F base temp), about 100 gallons of oil or 100 therms of gas
or $256, with electric resistance heat.
Or maybe try a different cat litter or clean it more often.
BTW you covered the bases well with your information in this and your
reply so it appears that the electrical cost will not be all that much. Now
add in the cost of replacing fans that are for the most part, not designed
for 24 hour duty (that is if you are using standard bathroom exhaust fans.)
You do your own figures. What is the wattage of the fan? Multiply by
24 (hours). So if the fan uses 100W, thats 2.4 KW per day. Howw much
is a KW of electric (look on your bill). Lets say that it's 10 cents
per KW. Then it's costing you 24 cents per day. Multiply 24 cents
times 365 (days per year). That's your answer. In this example it
would cost $87.60 per year. Same as leaving a 100W lightbulb on 24/7
for a year. But like others said, you have to figure in the amount of
heat or cooling loss, replacement fans, etc. You might be better off
looking into a better litter box and litter. You might also check
into wind drawn turbines on your roof, and hose them to the location
of the cat box. They turn without electric and are pretty efficient
when there is at least some wind. You could supplement an electric
fan on days when there is no wind.
Of course you have to modify the figures I did above to match the
wattage of your fan and cost per KWH of your power.
You don't need a fan, you need to either clean the box(es) more often or get
more of them. You need one box per cat, and it should be cleaned at least
once a day. Not just scooped, but the entire box needs strained for clumps
daily. There is ABSOLUTELY no smell if you do that. Sure, when the cat(s)
uses it there's the immediate smell, just like with human beings, but the
cat(s) will bury the stuff and the smell evaporates, just like flushing.
You obviously either don't have a cat or
you nose has become accustomed
to litter box smell. You can clean it 3
times a day, and there will still be some
smell. Also, I find that the oder of
some brands of litter to be just as
offensive and the cat smell itself.
The simple answer to your question is:
Roughly 25-30 cents a day for a small fan at typical electric rates.
A large blower in a very expensive electricity area of the country could
cost maybe a dollar a day or so.
yeah. but it came back on by itself. I think it's the pressure to the
switch. it does this some times when i change the valves to spa. it will act
like it's not going to start up or like the switch is kicking on and off. it
may be clogged up and the guy that replaced the switch last time didn't
check it. i'm going to check it again today.
my switch looks just like this one
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