I just installed a dimmer switch and am having the same problem. It looks like the hissing is caused by the chopping of the electrical current. I got a cheap switch and it looks like some of the more expensive switches may alleviate the problem. I guess it is back to Home Depot for me. Here is the address of the site I found explaining what is going on. Let me know if this helps. http://home.howstuffworks.com/dimmer-switch5.htm Read that and scroll down to the Table of Contents. Lots of good info.
+ yes, a good quality switch will reduce the sound, also upgrading to a 1000 watt dimmer will reduce it to a greater degree
If you are using what most of us think of as a normal light bulb, what is called an incandescent bulb, you do not need special bulbs. Any fluorescent light bulb, including the new curly bulbs called CFLs, requires a special ballast. The ballasts are built into the CFLs so you would need to buy bulbs specially labeled for dimmers. Never place a dimmer on a fan, or any motor, unless it is specifically labeled for use with a dimmer.
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