Keen Smart Home Vents

The only emails i see from keen are for referrals and to get more pre orders. No idea where they are with their shipments - i guess we are way past the expected timelines.

We’re targeting early October for the first round of Smart Vents (in 4"x10"). We posted an update regarding our shipping timeline to our blog here.

Sorry about that. We send out a newsletter every other week that contains updates regarding our progress. In August we sent an update regarding our shipping timelines, which we also posted to our blog here. I see that you subscribed to our newsletter in April, but perhaps you have missed them.

If we ordered a variety of sizes, will we get them as their ready (i.e., get the 4x10 size in Sept), or will we have to wait for all our sizes to be ready?

We’ll be shipping your sizes as they become available, so if you ordered 2 4x10s you’ll receive those this month or early next (depending on when you ordered). 4x12s will follow shortly after, then 6x10, then 6x12.

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This looks peachy…keen! Guess what is an officially supported device with *gasp* documentation!


Docs:

https://support.smartthings.com/hc/en-us/articles/205033744-What-is-the-Keen-Home-Smart-Vent-

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Yes sir! We became officially supported late last week. We’re starting to ship to SmartThings customer THIS WEEK! Hit me up if you pre-ordered and want yours ASAP.

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Hmmm, I have EcoVent on order… this might make me switch over… Couple of questions if you don’t mind:

  1. What safeties have you put in place to make sure too many vents aren’t closed are are causing too much back pressure?

  2. Do you replace the thermostat or do you control the thermostat? If the latter, which thermostats work?

  3. Do we have use your specific temperature sensor or can we use another device to detect temperature in the room?

I just noticed the temp sensor is built into the vent whereas EcoVent has a seperate device that measures the temperature in the room. do you feel having your temperature sensor in the vent that close to the flow of air will skew the reading?

With these kind of system I wonder why the hub doesn’t just complete replace and mount where the thermostat would be, taking direct control of the HVAC system…

http://keenhome.io/products/smart-vent > Features and http://keenhome.io/faq ,covers most of your questions :smile:

Great questions:

  1. We track pressure and temperature in the duct via an embedded pressure and temperature sensor in every Smart Vent. If the pressure in the duct is between .5 and 1.4 iwc, the vents will automatically open enough to reduce the pressure. We also recommend leaving dumb vents open while Smart Vents are installed.

  2. You don’t have to replace the thermostats. Smart Vents work great on their own with standard thermostats. But if you to want to connect your thermostat to your Smart Vents, you can do so with Nest, thermostats on SmartThings (Yves Racine has built a Smart App that allows the Smart Vent to work with Ecobee), or a thermostat on Lowe’s Iris. We’re an official Works With Nest company and are also working on native Ecobee support.

  3. You can use a separate remote temperature sensor on SmartThings to augment the abilities of the Smart Vent, but you really don’t need to. We’ve been working hard on a controls algorithm that allows us to determine room temperature from within the duct, without needing a separate sensor.

Regarding your last point: that would be ideal for sure. It’s the long term idea behind Works With Nest. Nest thermostats support wifi, 802.15.4 (Zigbee), and Bluetooth low energy, so they could be a hub in the near future.

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Okay so with EcoVent they recommended replacing all the vents of which I have 17, the main reason being is that to help relieve pressure they could automatically crack the vents in non-critical rooms like the master closet/various bathrooms.

I’m really concerned about the back pressure killing my system and while it seems like EcoVent has really done their homework, I’m still really concerned about it so forgive me if I’m being over cautious.

I’m pretty certain that in my situation using smart vents is going to VERY quickly pay for itself via electricity bills, if you saw where the thermostat was in my house and what it has to contend with, especially living in Texas, I think you’d most likely agree.

Electricity bills of $250+ during the summer with only two people in the house aren’t uncommon.

You have every reason to be cautious, which is why we built in these safety measures. We do the same re: opening the vents slightly to relieve pressure. Our Smart Vents measure the severity of the pressure and adjust to reduce it. Hopefully we’ll be able to help you bring that electricity bill down!

What’s your view on replacing ALL of the vents (all 17 of them) vs. just some of them?

If it wasn’t for the fact that I’m getting a pretty sweet deal from EcoVent (plus a free Samsung tablet thrown in due to delays), you’d technically be cheaper even for the same amount of vents.

I’ll have to have a think about it, the ST integration is very compelling though EcoVent hoped to do the same.

It’s really up to you. You certainly can replace every vent in your home with our Smart Vents, but it’s not a requirement. Some homeowners just want to target certain rooms. We’re all about giving flexibility and choice, hence prioritizing integrations with platforms many homeowners already have (such as ST).

Hi Nate,

Actually, I have one smartapp, called ScheduleTstatZones, that can work with any ST connected thermostats whether zigbee, z-wave or wifi such as Nest or Honeywell.

There is another smartapp, called ecobeeSetZoneWithSchedule, that was exclusively designed to work with ecobee.

See my thread below:

Regards.

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I stand corrected. The point is, Yves is a rockstar and has built some incredibly cool integrations.

@Benji I would highly, highly suggest, NOT replacing all dumb vents with smartvents, regardless of the manufacturer. If you did, what happens when they all fail to do what they are told for a multitude of reasons? I know, I know, everyone builds a bulletproof system, but there will be a lot of handshaking going on to accomplish this integration with a lot of failure points. No one is going to pay to fix your furnance or ductwork for you.

If it were me, as I’m still on the fence on the efficacy of smart vents, I would aim for somewhere between 1/3 and 1/2 of vents replaced with the remaining dumb vents left for non-essential rooms at about the half open position.

All commercial and high-end residential systems such as this accomplish all of this with an included high/low pressure static safety switch that if tripped, shuts off the unit immediately. Most homes don’t have something like this.

If you or others need some sort of references on why I can make such a claim, I did embedded control systems programming/engineering for 5 years following college. It was all commercial and very high end residence, but the ideas translate 1:1 as it’s just physics and thermodynamics.

I’m sure most people that choose to replace all, won’t have an issue, out of luck, leaky ductwork, or what have you, but if it were me, I wouldn’t take that risk.

Also, as I am typing this out, an appropriate safety measure on a smart vent could be a minimum closed state of 10-15%. CFM output from a damper opening and closing is not linear though and for a non-educated consumer, if they saw a vent partially open still, they might think it was broke, so this could end up causing issues on the support front of the manufacturer.

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Some great points there!

How difficult would it be to retro actively fit a high pressure static safety switch?

The install itself isn’t difficult, it’d need to be hardwired into your furnance though. Chances are the hardest part is finding an adequate location. Generally you’d want it in the common duct after the furnace fan but often times ductwork splits off to other parts of the house quickly after leaving the furnance.

The safety would work best furthest from the furnace you could make it, while still being a common feed. “Furthest” here is operating under the assumption that you’re splitting off somewhere between 5’-10’ after the furnace. If you have some sort of loop system, then this answer changes.

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If it could be right next to the exit of the furnace then it would be easy since the water overflow shutoff is right there and will cut power instantly but since it’s better further away that would make it very difficult to retrofit.

So I guess I only should replace the grills that are in rooms that I care about, everything else be damned, that way I’m only trying to hit a target temperature of a small room rather than a VAST open space, I’m pretty certain it’ll save me money.