That’s the use case we have in mind (targeted temperature control in specific rooms), but whole-home works as well. We also recommend replacing at least 1/3 of the vents in your home with Smart Vents. @bmmiller brought up good concerns, which is why we built manual overrides into each Smart Vent. Every one has a manual switch that can be used to adjust how open or closed a Smart Vent is, just as you would do with a standard vent register.
We assure you that the Smart Vents won’t malfunction and leave you without the ability to control them from your phone, but if somehow they did the manual control ensure you aren’t SOL. Also, every Smart Vent intentionally leaks a little bit of air at all time to keep down the risk of excessive pressure build up.
Do you all have any studies or datasheets published showing effectiveness of your solution? Concept makes sense but would love to see some real world data before laying down few hundred bucks. Any SmartThings users beta test and have experiences to share?
We don’t have any studies just yet, but we will once the Smart Vents have been in peoples’ homes for a while. SmartThings beta testers have had their Smart Vents for about a month and a half, so not enough time to measure the impact of having the vents on their energy bills. But the feedback we have received is that the rooms in which the Smart Vents were installed were noticeably more comfortable than before the Smart Vents.
FYI, I have included the following safeguards into my smartapps:
The ecobeeSetZoneWithSchedule and ScheduleTstatZones (for generic ST connected thermostats) check each vent’s temperature and make sure that it’s within the minimum and maximum range to provide safe operation.
The smartapps check the ratio of closed vents/total connected vents and will ensure that the ratio is not higher than 50%.
-When the zone settings are applied, the smartapps ensure that there is a minimum open level for any vents inside the zone(s) scheduled at a given time.
Those safety measures are already implemented and tested with the beta vents that I have…
I will test again with a larger number of vents later when I receive the production ones…
I am interested in putting a few smart vents in my finished basement which is seldom used. Essentially im heating or cooling it needlessly along with my first floor since they are one zone. I would like an hvac industry authority (whoever that may be) to review your product and its safety for the home hvac system. As much as i like home automation, i dont want to kill my furnace for the sake of a hobby. Really this shouldnt wait until you get consumer feedback since most people arent educated about their hvac systems and can be raving about reducing heating or cooling bill or evening room temperatures while unknowingly damaging their hvac system. Its great that you have put in safeguards against pressure buildup but i need a fairly objecive knowledgeable reviewer (not just a tech enthusiast blog) to evaluate your system effectiveness and safety.
I agree. It seems a little sketch that Keen Home has decided to wait on retail customers to provide case studies for both comfort distribution effectiveness and HVAC system safety. Presumably these vents have been installed at alpha/beta testers locations for awhile now and it seems strange that there is no data to release from controlled (heck even cherry picked) experiments to validate the safety and performance claims.
That’s fair. I meant that we don’t yet have studies to share regarding energy savings. For that we want plenty of customer data to ensure accuracy. We are also working with the NY State Pollution Prevention Institute’s Green Technology Accelerator Center to conduct studies of energy savings and efficiency. As for safety, we’ve been working on and testing our design for two years with no indication that the Smart Vent will damage a system. That said, you are right that an official seal of approval would go a long way. We’re exploring our options, but if there are certifying bodies you respect and would recommend we use, we’re open to suggestions.
Beta testers have had two vents each in their homes for about two months. These tests have been run entirely on the SmartThings platform, which doesn’t give us access to user metadata. We have however been in regular communication with our beta testers, who have confirmed modest improvements in comfort after installing their vents, with no indication of system damage. The feedback I hear the most is that two vents just scratch the surface on potential performance, as in most cases having only two Smart Vents is below our recommendation to replace 1/3 of the vents in your home.
On my side, I’ve been using the 2 beta Keen Home smart vents at home with the smartapps I’ve developed.
Although it’s dificult for me with only 2 vents (I have more than 20 vents in my house) to assess the real impact on comfort, I can see that more airflow is directed towards my master bedroom (colder room as this room is less exposed to the sun than my office) when heating the house.
I hope that with more smart vents I will able to better see the overall benefit, and the savings ($$) in energy costs.
Fow now, what’s nice is that the smart vents’ design is sturdy yet elegant, and that they started working right out of the box (even for beta units).
I will post later when I receive my production ones.
There are 2 smartapps that can interact with smart vents:
ScheduleTstatZones, for any ST connected thermostats
ecobeeSetZoneWithSchedules, specifically designed for ecobee thermostats.
P.S. There is also a troubleshooting section under My ecobee Device and some more complex smartapps that can help you solve most of your issues.
Bye for now.
EDIT: I created a new smartapp for simpler needs related to Smart Vents. It is called ScheduleRoomTempControl which is solely dedicated to control smart vents in rooms based on temp thresholds that you set for each zone/room.
For more details on all the smartapps, please refer to