For 16 summers, I would enter my den and turn on the light. Then I would sit down at the computer and start to work. After a few minutes, I would realize how hot it was and have to get up, go back to the light switch, and turn on the fan via the next switch over.
Today, I finally stepped back to look at my problem and how to solve it. Once I realized what I wanted, the solution was obvious to me.
What I needed was one switch to turn on the light and, optionally, the fan. When the fan switch is on, the light switch turns on the light and the fan. When the fan switch is off, the light switch turns on just the light.
The reassignment of switch functions involves moving a single wire. If you are not comfortable doing this work, do not take this opportunity to concur your fears!
1. TURN OFF POWER!!!
2. open up the switch box
3. disconnect the input power wire on the fan switch and connect it to the output terminal of the light switch. This should be non-white wire. In most cases, it will be black.
4. close up switch box
5. turn power back on and test that the switches work as expected