Make your garage more comfortable with a motion-sensing fan

I do a lot of work in the garage, and Virginia summers can be hot, so I found a quick and easy solution: install a wall-mount fan in the back of the garage:
I was a little worried that this guy would be too small to get any significant cooling out of it, but even on the low setting it does a great job of keeping the area cool (and ventilating things like gasoline and paint smells). The wall mount unit has a neat feature with pull strings on the bottom to control fan speed and oscillation, so if you mount it high on the wall you can still control the features without having to reach for the knobs.

Of course, this wouldn’t be complete without adding some Insteon automation to the mix. So I used an Insteon Motion Sensor and Insteon On/Off Module to activate the fan whenever motion is sensed.

Keep in mind that as new devices like this are added to the network, they can be used for other things. So for example, I’ve included the motion sensor in my location-based security setup to notify me if motion is detected in the garage and I’m not home. I also included the devices in IntelliHome to see the status of the motion sensor and fan at a glance:

Posted by Matt Chiste
September 14
2 comments on “Make your garage more comfortable with a motion-sensing fan
  1. qvilorio says:

    Hi, great setup. How did you manage to setup the timer, because you will have to wave at the MS in order to start functioning again?

    • Matt Chiste says:


      Thanks. You have two options, both of which are (basically) explained here:

      1) configure a timeout in the motion sensor for as long as you want, keeping the motion sensor and fan in the same scene (MS as controller, IOLinc as responder)
      2) write a program in the ISY994i to trigger a timer every time the MS event fires

      For this application, I used option #1. Generally I’ve never had to “wave” at the motion sensor, as if I’m working in the garage the motion sensor is sensitive enough to pick up the movement and keep the motion state “on”.

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