[RELEASE] Best zoned Heating/Cooling Solutions for SmartThings

Hi,

Today, I sent out a new major version of my Zoned Heating/Cooling solutions to all my active contributors.

The new versions enable dynamic temp adjustments (+/- degrees) based on the thermostat’s setpoints for warmer/cooler zones inside the home.

This feature is added to the long list of features of the smartapps, amongst others:

  • Ability to schedule the thermostat’s setpoints and to set some predefined vent levels in different rooms permanently or only for some schedules (ex. at Night) temporarily

  • Ability to control the vents based on all ST connected sensors: contact, motion, and presence sensors (using the ST hello modes and routines)

The new versions are available now at my store:

Regards.

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Hello,
Im having trouble setting up v7.0.1, this is the error im getting: 0390440d-1d05-4e9e-b3cf-3947c74a5c03 10:34:43 PM: error java.lang.NullPointerException: Cannot invoke method refresh() on null object @ line 52.

Hi, I sent out a new version that corrects this issue (v7.0.3). This exception occurs for new installations only.
Regards.

Thank you! I have it setup and working now.

Great app! You just need to take your time and read the instructions to get things to work :slight_smile:

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A little confused regarding the two threads, this one, and the other one here:

I assume this is the “current” thread for this discussion, so moving my comments/questions from there to here.

This looks pretty cool, wanted to confirm it could resolve a problem w/our home.

We have a ranch style house, aligned along North/South, and south end of the house (living room/office/family room) is always warmer than the north end (bedrooms). So we get:

Winter: Heat enough to warm south end, and then the north end is too cold.
Summer: Cool enough to cool south end, and then the north end is again too cold.
So it seems like I could use the smart vents and smartapps/DTHs, to set up a system where the temperature is balanced across the house, with the hotter south end getting less heat/more cooling, and the cooler north end geting more heat, less cooling.

Assuming above is true, the HW to do this would be:

  • 9 smart vents to replace the 9"dumb" vents we have in the house
  • Temp sensors in each room

Questions:

  1. My Nest thermostat is programmed w/several temperature ranges during the day - I have temperature range settings for early AM, mid-morning to afternoon, afternoon to evening, and then bedtime. Does this system support that level of control?

  2. Do the current vents on the Keen site include the pressure sensor? Can’t find a model number on them on the site.

  3. If we only replace a subset of vents (in the too cold and too warm rooms) does that really work well? Seems like the remaining dumb vents would siphon off hot/cold air and make it harder for the system to balance temperatures properly.

  4. How important to have motion and temp sensors, vs. just temp sensors?

Thanks!

Hi @Danabw

1.My Nest thermostat is programmed w/several temperature ranges during the day - I have temperature range settings for early AM, mid-morning to afternoon, afternoon to evening, and then bedtime. Does this system support that level of control?

Yes, you can use the smartapp to control your setpoints during the day. You can define up to 12 schedules in the smartapp: some for weekdays, others for weekends, etc…

2.Do the current vents on the Keen site include the pressure sensor? Can’t find a model number on them on the site.

There is pressure sensor that comes with the vent. However, the pressure sensor reports some absolute barometric pressure values which (alone) cannot be used in HA scenarios.

3.If we only replace a subset of vents (in the too cold and too warm rooms) does that really work well? Seems like the remaining dumb vents would siphon off hot/cold air and make it harder for the system to balance temperatures properly.

Well, it really depends on your HVAC’s performance as well. If your HVAC airflow is really unbalanced, adding smart vents will not correct everything. When there is a huge temperature variation between rooms on the same floor, it’s also recommended to balance your “airflow” by an HVAC technician.

Smart vents and my smartapp can help to a certain extent, but they will not correct a severely “unbalanced” HVAC system.

4.How important to have motion and temp sensors, vs. just temp sensors?

It’s important if you want to use some advanced features of the smartapp: to set your Nest thermostat to away & present or control your smart vents in order to open only the vents in occupied rooms (all these scenarios are based on motion detection).

Refer to the beginning of the thread for more details on each smartapp solution that I created and the ST community wiki.

If you’re planning to buy some Keen Home smart vents, there is a referral link down below that you can use to get each smart vent for $25 less (you need to enter the promo code several times if you are buying several vents; just buy them one at a time).

http://go.referralcandy.com/share/P2KVLVX

P.S. The ScheduleTstatZones thread was created more than a year ago. This thread has been created this year with the latest features described at the beginning of the thread.

EDIT: Some Motion sensors like the SmartSensor and the Iris 2nd gen sensors already come with Motion and Temp capabilities and they don’t cost much more…
Regards.

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Hi again,

Here are some explanations about smart vents:

Regards,

Just excellent - thanks very much for the extensive info and frank advice. Per your comments I think I’ll schedule an HVAC appointment to get someone to take a look at our system, and go from there.

I must say that I bought this and the support package (and wish I would have done so from the start). Best investment ever, so much that I bought additional vents (I have five total, two additional need to be exchanged for the right size thanks to Lowes screwing up an online order).

He took care of everything and set up an optimal layout for me all without touching it and explained where I went wrong during the setup.

Kudos!

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Great app and solid updates. Given adoption of smartvents (Keen), many of us have purchases a house full! Now I am seeing some vents fail (or go off line), ect. IDEA, can your solution provide a vent status? Maybe an alert if a vent is not replying to a command from your app…

THX!

Hi @aallesch,

To see your vents’ level at any given time, you’d need to go to the Running Schedule page from the Dashboard.

Moreover, you will get a warning notification if the setLevel command is not executed properly.

See the code excerpt below:

try {
	ventSwitch.setLevel(switchLevel)
	if (roomName) {       
		traceEvent(settings.logFilter,"set ${ventSwitch} at level ${switchLevel} in room ${roomName} to reach desired temperature",settings.detailedNotif, get_LOG_INFO())
	}            
} catch (e) {
	if (switchLevel >0) {
		ventSwitch.on()        
		traceEvent(settings.logFilter, "setVentSwitchLevel>not able to set ${ventSwitch} at ${switchLevel} (exception $e), trying to turn it on",
			true, get_LOG_WARN())            
	} else {
		ventSwitch.off()        
		traceEvent(settings.logFilter, "setVentSwitchLevel>not able to set ${ventSwitch} at ${switchLevel} (exception $e), trying to turn it off",
			true, get_LOG_WARN())           
	}
}

Regards.

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Hi, today I released a new version of my Zoned Heating/Cooling smartapps with additional checks to ensure that the setLevel command is processed by the Vent DTH and some clear obstruction attempts if not.

The new versions of the smartapps are available at my store:

www.ecomatiqhomes.com/store

Regards.

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Hi,

Today I released a new version of my Zoned Heating/Cooling smartapps (ecobeeSetZoneWithSchedule v7.2.6) & ScheduleTstatZones v7.2.3) with a new settings in the General Setup Page.

The thermostat’s setpoints can now be adjusted based on a choice of calculation methods
using all the temps collected at the indoor temp sensors:

  • Avg (Average) which is the default (this is similar to the ecobee’s follow me feature)
  • Med (Median)
  • Min (Minimum)
  • Max (Maximum)
  • Heat Min/Cool Max: this method will take the minimum when the tstat’s mode is heating or the maximum when the tstat’s mode is cooling (useful when tstat’s mode is auto).

The new versions of the smartapps are available at my store:

www.ecomatiqhomes.com/store

For more details on the smartapps, refer to the ST community wiki:

http://thingsthataresmart.wiki/index.php?title=EcobeeSetZoneWithSchedule
http://thingsthataresmart.wiki/index.php?title=ScheduleTstatZones

Regards.

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Hi

Quick question and sorry in advance if I missed it somewhere – does your app have a configuration to disable the bright blue led. I have the vent installed in our nursery and the light freightens our little one when the vents adjust.

Thanks,
Derek

Hi, sorry I don’t have any control over the blue led (firmware only). You can put a tape over it.

Regards.

Okay, will tape over it with electrical tape. Thanks for your prompt reply!

Derek

Hi,

Today I released new versions of my Zoned Heating/Cooling smartapps (ecobeeSetZoneWithSchedule & ScheduleTstatZones v7.3, ScheduleRoomTempControl v3.3) with new HVAC Pressure checks.

  • Added new baseline pressure sensor configuration in Rooms Setup page for checking the vent pressure vs. a given sensor’s baseline pressure.
  • Modified the Config Page to display the baseline pressure, the vent pressure, and the offset between the vent pressure and the baseline pressure. The offset
    should be around 0.5-0.8 inches of water (124.54-200 Pa) which is the maximum static pressure in a standard HVAC (residential).
  • Ideally, the baseline pressure sensor should be located in the main supply plenum, just after the furnace. Otherwise, you may also place a pressure sensor
    in the same room as the vent, but you’d need to fine tune the offset (as the range in Pa above would likely not be right) in the GeneralSetup page accordingly.
  • The standard pressure offset (124.54 Pa) in the General Setup page can be modified under the safeguards section according to your own HVAC specifications.
    - Made some design changes to avoid ST runtime timeouts (due to rate limiting) in the smartapps ( observed sometimes when a lot of rooms/zones/vents are configured).

The new versions of the smartapps are available at my store:

www.ecomatiqhomes.com/store

For more details on the smartapps, refer to the ST community wiki:

http://thingsthataresmart.wiki/index.php?title=EcobeeSetZoneWithSchedule
http://thingsthataresmart.wiki/index.php?title=ScheduleTstatZones
http://thingsthataresmart.wiki/index.php?title=ScheduleRoomTempControl

P.S. The new versions have been distributed to all my active contributors.

2 Likes

yvesracine - this is really a great app and well worth every penny in my opinion. I’m using it with 28 keen vents, 2 ecobee3’s with 12 remote sensors and it’s done a fantastic job at zoning and keeping each room at very similar temps. Thanks!

2 Likes

I recently started using your Smartthings App - zoned heating/cooling with 6 Keen Smart Vents and 2 Samsung Motion/Temperature Sensors for a recently finished basement. My Furnace Thermostat is on the first floor and does a great job of keeping that floor at 70 degrees, however; my basement temperature would fluctuate. With your app and the 2 Samsung Motion/Temperature Sensors, I can keep the basement from becoming over-heated (I set the temperature for heating to 70 degrees for the 2 zones I created and use the Samsung sensors to read that temperature.)

I am thinking of purchasing an Ecobee 3 Thermostat to put in the basement (mainly as a way to allow people to think they are setting the basement thermostat.) This would replace me setting a threshold temperature in the Smart Things app you developed (I assume it would read the value from the Ecobee 3 thermostat setting)?

I have a 24VAC wall plug to power the Ecobee 3 and will pair it to Smart things along with the remote sensor it comes with. I will uses this along with your app to control the Keen Smart Vents in my basement. Since I have a Carrier Infinity furnace, I am stuck with their controller (communicating system) so I can’t directly use the Ecobee 3 to remotely trigger the furnace (probably would not want to either). I can have the Ecobee 3 trigger the G-terminal to turn on the fan of my system (my Infinity Thermostat Controller has a setting that will trigger the furnace fan when R-G is energized - thus I can make the Ecobee think it is activating my furnace even though it will only be activating the fan which will circulate air between the floors).

Your app was easy to configure and very intuitive. It works great for my purposes. I also have an oil-filled heater with a digital thermostat in the basement for days like yesterday when it hit 80 degrees outside (it is 20 degrees today) and the furnace is not throwing heat into the basement.

I tried the Keen app (with their bridge) but prefer your App with the Samsung Smart Things Hub.

Thanks!
Mark

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