KEEN home Smart Vents (Hardware; not Apps)


(ocpd+adhd+alz+md+hfa+fms+lol=me :)) #1

NOTE: To be clear about what this thread is for, first of all, I put the words in the correct order (i.e. ‘Keen Home’ is the company, and ‘Smart Vents’ are what they produce), and then I included the modifier 'Hardware; not Apps) to make sure you know this thread is about the actual hardware device itself, and NOT any SmartApps (whether created here or anywhere else).

I’m hoping this thread can be used by anyone that wants to discuss this product, in general, and leave the already well-established SmartApp threads for discussion that specifically relates to those SmartApps.

If need be, this thread can also include talk about Device Handlers, but only where it directly relates to interacting with the Hardware itself, and not how it interacts with SmartApps or anything else. I’m not sure if this is possible (or even wanted), but here we go…


My History…
I do not recall exactly when they arrived, or how many days it took me to actually get one of them turned on, configured in ST, and installed in the house, but I ordered two Keen Home Smart Vents on June 25th of this year (2016). So, for sure, I have only had them for that long.

Since I couldn’t figure out a good enough scenario for where to put them both, and I only had a single location that would make a worthwhile and noticeable difference (i.e. I’d need a few more to make change make sense in the rest of the house), I only installed one of the Smart Vents.

This single Smart Vent is in my basement. The main thing I used it for so far is to avoid unnecessarily cooling the basement in the summer, AND to assist in getting some of the cold down there filtered upstairs. So, my rule is like this… when AC is ON, close it, and when house fan is on with AC OFF, open it.

It has worked like a charm. Yes…even with just this one Smart Vent in the basement like that, it definitely makes a difference (i.e. less electricity waste, because I’m not ‘cooling’ the basement every time the AC is running in the summer). Of course, I will continue to buy more of them when I can, and will eventually replace all vents in the house; at which time, I will have a complete system that is much more efficient, etc. That’s down the road a ways.

Now, my problem…
For the past week or so, it has seemed like whenever I click a button on my phone to either open or close the SmartVent, I haven’t been hearing the telltale change in air pressure in the ducts. It was a signal to me that I probably need to check on it, but have been putting it off.

Well, this morning, I went down to check, and sure enough, no motion upon commands. It was clearly dead. Surprising since the device in ST app still shows 90% battery life remaining.

I replaced the batteries, and presto-changeo, it’s back in action.

Huh?
How can it be that I haven’t even had this thing in place for 4 months yet, and the batteries have already died? Is this a known problem issue? Does this mean that each Smart Vent will take three sets of batteries per year? If so, I’m starting to think this is not such a great idea after all (at least not this particular product in its current form).

Also, why was it still telling me that the Smart Vent had 90% battery left if it clearly didn’t?

Ideas?


UPDATE:
After replacing the original batteries with known good ones, it seems to be working properly now.
So, the original battery problem that I brought up in this OP had to do with the batteries that came with the vent from the factory. See the following post for more details…


(Mike Maxwell) #2

did you check the batteries with a volt meter?, were they truly dead or did the vent just fall off the network… In which case replacing the batteries would have rebooted the thing, and it would have re-paired with the hub.


(Bobby) #3

The vents are zigbee, and like most zigbee devices, they can get stuck. Power cycling would bring them back to life. It happens all the time with my motion sensors and contacts. Luckily, it only happened once to my vents, and that was after a power outage that lasted 3 days. With that being said. I have installed 10 of them back in March. I am using @Mike_Maxwell 's Keenect app, which really opens and closes the vents as I need (the heaviest used vents currently have 50% battery level and those less used show 75%. And when I say “less” used, I mean they open/close around 3 times/day…


(ocpd+adhd+alz+md+hfa+fms+lol=me :)) #4

Doh!
Thanks, guys.
I’ve been out of it for a while here, and didn’t even think of that.
I will check it (test the old batteries AND put them back in if they are still good, and see what happens), and report back today…


(ocpd+adhd+alz+md+hfa+fms+lol=me :)) #5

OK…I put the original batteries back into the vent, and…nothing.
Then, I put the new ones back in, and it came back to life.

So, now I will go test the batteries with multi-meter, just to be sure, but it looks like the batteries simply died.

I’ll report back once more on the actual state of the batteries before I ask any more stupid questions…


(ocpd+adhd+alz+md+hfa+fms+lol=me :)) #6

Update:
I heard back from Keen Home. They said it may be due to being “at the edge” of my “wifi range”.

So, I’m waiting to hear back from them with clarification of which wireless technology I should be investigating here.

I assume they meant “zigbee”, and I may need to install a repeater device of some sort, but I just want to make sure I’m not completely misunderstanding how things work…


(Mike Maxwell) #7

Yes, the keen vents are zigbee. Many including my self are using centralite switch/dimmer/appliance (ST, PEQ or Lowes) modules for zigbee repeaters.


(ocpd+adhd+alz+md+hfa+fms+lol=me :)) #8

OK, finally got a response that makes sense. They appologized for using (and continuing to use after I first pointed out the terminology problem) the term “wifi” when talking about the Keen vent’s wireless network needs. :slight_smile:

They think the problem is the distance between vent and hub.

I asked them what the ideal distance is between vent and hub (and between vent and repeater; in case it’s different), and am waiting for a reply.

Hopefully their reply (or somebody’s here) will give me the info I need to then go figure out what kind of gadget to install next…and where. :slight_smile: I’ll report back after hearing back from them again…


(Eric) #9

I can tell you that I have my vent about 30 feet away from my hub, through a floor.

Hub on first floor in my office, vent in the ceiling of the basement.


(ocpd+adhd+alz+md+hfa+fms+lol=me :)) #10

OK, thanks.
Is the floor the only thing in the way; no other stuff like furnace, etc?
How long has it been in operation?
Is it still using the original batteries?
What is their level now?


(Eric) #11

It is reporting 75%. It has been in use for about 2 months. We rarely use it as we bought it for the winter time.
The main thing between it and the hub would be the duct itself, one of the large branches off the main. Original batteries.


(ocpd+adhd+alz+md+hfa+fms+lol=me :)) #12

SO NOISY!!

Wow…I only have two of these so far. The first one is in the basement. So, I never really go near it very much, except for when I have to troubleshoot it or whatever.

With the second one, I used it to replace the floor vent that’s just a few feet away from my desk (where I’m typing this).

I never noticed it before, but while air is flowing through the ducts, these things make a LOT of noise, just while sitting there, not opening or closing. In this particular case, it’s closed, and when the air came on, it started making a rattling/tinkling noise.

I checked up-close, and it’s definitely coming from the baffles or something that’s part of the Keen vent.

Is this a known problem?

If not, I’ll probably ask for a replacement.

If so though, what are others doing about it?


(Kavvy) #13

Even closed, the air escapes from the vent. This is to reduce back pressure in the system. If you can (not sure what app youre using), change the minimum open a few percent. This should get rid of the rattle and whistle noise they make when completely closed.


(ocpd+adhd+alz+md+hfa+fms+lol=me :)) #14

OK, thanks. :slight_smile: I will play with that a little bit, and report back sometime…


(ocpd+adhd+alz+md+hfa+fms+lol=me :)) #15

One of my vents keeps disconnecting or something.

I find that it’s not responding to commands.
I remove its battery, and wait a few seconds.
Plug the battery back in.
It goes through a few things, and is back online, and now responds to commands again.

If this were something that happened every month or so even, I wouldn’t mind as much, but it’s almost daily at this point…rendering these vents pretty useless for my purposes…I mean, if I have to keep going around to them all the time to make them get back online, I might as well be going around and manually changing the old vents.

Also, I only have 2 of them right now…I can’t imagine what it would be like if I actually had the funding to get all of the ones I’d really like to have for all of the relevant vents throughout my house. lol

Questions…

  1. What is the best Device Handler we should be using for these things?

  2. Is there a SmartApp, or anything that can be used to help with either making sure these things stay online, or if not, then to notify us if they drop off?


(Yves Racine) #16

Hi, reading your thread, your initial post was all about HW and DTHs, not smartapps… You were pretty adamant about it. See your 1st post here:

Regards.


(Eric) #17

7 months later the same vent is now at 50%. Not bad IMO. I did install another one on a different floor in the house, also different floor than the hub also. That was 30 days ago and it is at 100% still.


(ocpd+adhd+alz+md+hfa+fms+lol=me :)) #18

I know why I created this thread (specifically, to deal with the hardware itself, and issues with that, and NOT to talk about special SmartApps that make these vents do things, etc).

What’s your point?


(ocpd+adhd+alz+md+hfa+fms+lol=me :)) #19

@whoismoses whoismoses

Thanks for the data points.

Since my initial battery problem, and since I replaced the batteries with known good ones, I haven’t had the same problem anymore.

The first time, when I first received them brand new, I turned one of them on, and the batteries died before it was even 4 months in use.

This time around, it’s been 7 months, and it is still at 75%.

So, obviously, the problem was not in my head, but in the batteries that were in the device from the factory. :confused:

Oh well, I won’t hold it against KEEN. Batteries go bad. The device itself appears to be working just fine, and NOT wasting battery power. Yay! :slight_smile:


(Yves Racine) #20

My point is that your thread becomes redundant if you talk about smartapps as there are many threads already in the forum about the Keen Home Vents.

BTW, if you experience any disconnects, I’ve already posted the solution in another popular thread about it.

See here: