My father was cheap, or maybe he was just ahead of his time. During the 1970s energy crisis, when my brothers and I were teenagers and liked to take 20-minute showers, he’d pound on the door and say, “Hot water doesn’t grow on trees. And turn on the fan in there,” knowing that when one of us finally emerged, a hot, foggy mist would billow out and make the hall’s walls glisten.
Then, 15 minutes later, he’d storm back upstairs, having heard the roar of the fan from the living room. He’d knock on the bedroom door this time, saying, “You left the fan on. Again.” Seems like he wanted it both ways.
And today he could have had it. While he would have choked on the current gas prices, my father would have loved the bathroom-ventilation systems now available. Quieter motors and a variety of controls—including timers, motion detectors, and humidity sensors—work together as a set-it-and-forget-it appliance that even a grungy teen can’t misuse.