SmartThings Community

[RELEASE] Smart Vent Manager - smartapp commissioned by Keen Home

keen
smartapp
smartapp_hvac
vents

(Yves Racine) #1

Hi,

To whom it may concern,

Prerequisites:

  • SmartThings hub
  • A ST connected thermostat (optional). If used with a thermostat, then its DTH (Device Type Handler) must populate the standard OperatingState and heating/cooling setpoint attributes.
  • Smart vents (Keen Home, Flair, or other brands as long as they follow the ST switch/dimmer switch capabilities). Make sure to poll the thermostat on a regular basis for more accurate results.
  • Temp & Motion sensors in rooms (optional) for better vent adjustment

For motion detection, I don’t recommend the ecobee remote sensors as they are not meant for HA scenarios. They don’t update in real time in most cases.

If you do not know how to install a custom smartapp or DTH, please refer to this thread for more details:

Features

  • The smartapp can work with or without a thermostat specified as input
  • Support of all ST connected thermostats (zigbee, z-wave, wi-fi,etc.) including Nest, ecobee, Honeywell, etc.
  • Full support of all thermostat modes (cool, heat, auto, etc.)
  • You can define up to 16 rooms where vents can be controlled based on a temp threshold defined on a room by room basis
  • For each room, you can indicate not only the vent switches (up to 2 per room) to be controlled, but also any ST connected temp and motion sensors that can help you to better control the vent settings
  • Automatic adjustments of the vent level so that your occupied rooms (based on motion detection) will get the most heating/cooling.
  • For each room, the occupied threshold (in minutes) can be customized based on your own needs (optional)
  • You may use room occupancy or not to control the vents. This is configurable on a room by room basis.
  • You may also override the calculated level value with a static level value for any vent controlled by the smartapp (optional).
  • If a thermostat is provided as input, the smartapp will adjust the vents only if the thermostat’s Operating State is not ‘idle’ (so your HVAC is either ‘Heating’ or ‘Cooling’ or the fan is running).
  • For each room, you can specify a room temp threshold
    • (When cooling and room temp < threshold) or (when heating and room temp> threshold) => vents are closed;
    • Otherwise left open
  • Please note that the following safeguards have been implemented to avoid damaging your HVAC:
    • The smartapp checks each vent’s temperature and makes sure that it’s within the minimum and maximum range to provide safe operation.
    • If not within the safe temp range (between 45 and 130 degrees Farenheit), it will notify you & open all vents
    • It ensures that there is a minimum open level (set to 10% by default) for any vents controlled by the smartapp.
  • However, if the ST user wants to bypass the above safeguards, then she/he can do it by setting the bypassSafeguards flag to ‘true’ (1st page: General Setup, scroll down for more options)
  • Please take note of the following warning about the safeguards:
    • You may want to do some research in order to avoid closing too many vents in your home (based on your HVAC model).
  • The safeguards can be customized according to your HVAC requirements.
  • The smartapp is compatible with the US and metric systems (Farenheit and Celsius)
  • The smartapp can be activated/deactivated with a physical/virtual switch (optional)

The SmartVentManager smartapp is available at my github.

You can manually copy and paste the smartapp from my github.

You can also find the smartapp under the SmartThingsPublic github repo. If you have the github integration, you just need to select the yracine/SmartVentManager smartapp when you “Update From Repo” (yracine is at the end of the “New - only in Github” list).

GitHub Settings:

Owner: yracine
Name: SmartThingsPublic
Branch: master

The smartapp is a basic version of my zoned heating/cooling solutions that you can download at my store:

Amongst other features, my zoned heating/cooling solutions have the following added capabilities:

  • Ability to create zones inside your home (ex. upstairs bedrooms, basement, ground floor). A zone is composed of 1 to many rooms.
  • Ability to create schedules so that the above zones are active only during a specific period of the day
    * For example: at nights, the airflow shall be directed only at the upstairs bedrooms; during the
    day, the airflow shall be directed towards the ground floor and the basement, but not the upstairs
    bedrooms).
  • Ability to set the thermostat’s setpoints to achieve best comfort and energy efficiency during a schedule run.
  • Ability to use contact sensors (for doors and windows) to control the vents.
  • Ability to run schedules based on the ST hello modes (Night, Away, Home, any custom ones)
  • Ability to do avg temp calculations of any ST connected remote sensors and set the thermostat to away or present (ScheduleTstatZones & ecobeeSetZoneWithSchedule).
  • Ability to trigger alternative cooling based on outdoor temp threshold (ScheduleTstatZones & ecobeeSetZoneWithSchedule).
  • Ability to control the vent proportionnally based on each room’s temp differential to the thermosat’s setpoints (ScheduleTstatZones & ecobeeSetZoneWithSchedule).
    And, many more features…

For more details on my zoned heating/cooling solutions, please refer to this thread:

Here are some screenshots of the SmartVentManager smartapp:

General Setup Page


Rooms Setup Pages





Config Display Pages




Other Options Page

Regards.


Keen Vents - How to control?
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[BETA RELEASE] Keenect V2.7 and Keenzone 2.8, Proportional Vent Control with System Wide Zone Balancing
[RELEASE] New version of my zoned Heating/Cooling Solutions
(David) #2

How does this differ than your paid versions?


(Kevin) #3

Very cool @yvesracine

How long have you been running a smart vent or any sort of zoning? I used to work in HVAC for a while and understand zoning well. What I wonder about is the concerns of static pressure. Like that the vent has a minimum open percentage to get around that. But also I’ve wondered how much difference this can really make to over all comfort then also any savings that might be made. The increase of static pressure in the ducting is slight concern for sure. Newer construction shouldnt be too much of an issue, I think anything in the 2000’s and up should have decent sealing. But you never know…

I just wonder about savings and comfort. Right now, I just do the 25% open on the vents and mostly close doors but not all the way lol. Then again I do live alone in a house too big for one person.


(Yves Racine) #4

Hi, the main differences are indicated in bold in the 1st post above, and there are more details in the “new version of Zoned Heating/Cooling solutions” thread.

Regards.


(Yves Racine) #5

Hi KevinH,

Your questions about static pressure have been addressed by Keen Home.

See my post (more than a year ago). I’ve been using smart vents without any issues for more than 2 years.

Regards.


(Kevin) #6

Them answering the question is kind … you know … I wouldn’t trust Billy Mays saying something isn’t going to kill me. They do have a vested interest in their own product.

That being said, yea I think their solution to keeping them slightly open is a good one. The issue is that as the pressure in the lines back up, you end up leaking that conditioned air outside the ducts into your attic or basement for example. This is worse for older homes. When I installed duct we did try to tape all joints but there were times they were far from air tight. And depending on construction, if someone used just ‘duct tape’ on metal ducts it will fail very soon. Proper foil tape is better, or the paint on type sealant.

So closing off vents can increase your static pressure and make you run way less efficient than not. Even ‘proper’ zoning by placing baffles at the takeoffs from the main trunk line, can cause this same problem. Their solution of not fully blocking flow is good.

My main question is more of how is the real world usage of them affecting the bottom line. Either in terms of money saved, or comfort in the house. I have 3 rooms that I NEVER go into. Ive done the manual partial closing of the vents and leaving the door only open a crack. So i know in my case its probably minimal benefit, but ya know… gadgets are good :).


(Matt) #7

I am not knocking @yvesracine app at all just making a suggestion.

I have been running Keenect since it first started in Beta and it works very well. One major thing we put in place is something you may think about adding to your app. I have a pressure differential sensor mounted on my unit with a Zwave open close sensor. If I hit 150pa back pressure it opens all vents to 100% to relieve pressure then for all vents that are included in the pressure relief function it adds 5% to their opening and will keep ding this if needed until there is a static pressure below the threshold I select on the differential sensor. This is a great function to protect your HVAC unit and the ducts.


(Yves Racine) #8

Hi KevinH,

Please refer to the user feedback in my Zoned Heating/Cooling Solutions thread.

Some people have been using my solutions for more than 18 months (like @DreamPunk) , and are very happy with the smart vents (and my solutions).

Regards.


(Shane Schwarzman) #9

Does this let me adjust the vents based on mode?


(Yves Racine) #10

Hi,

If you mean the thermostat’s modes, yes, the smartapp fully supports all modes (Auto, Cool, Heat, Off, etc.).

If you mean the ST hello modes (Night, Away, Home, any custom ones), then you need the paid versions at my store:

Regards.


(Shane Schwarzman) #11

So to open/close certain vents based on good night, guest, or home i would need the paid version? Is that the $100 purchase?


(Yves Racine) #12

I ask for a modest contribution for the more elaborate smartapps at my store:

  • ScheduleTstatZones is $15.

  • ScheduleRoomTempControl is only $10 as the smartapp has less features (good for controlling the vents, but not necessary for adjusting the thermostat’s setpoints).

The $100 consulting fee is for any assistance you need to configure the smartapps according to your house layout and your user requirements. I also usually recommend where to place the smart vents in your house for maximum efficiency.

Some users have very specific requirements for guests involving arrival sensors and custom ST hello modes.

I know a contributor (doctor) in LA who wants his vents to be controlled differently on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays during his office workdays. The rest of the week, he spends more of his time
in his upstairs floor, and only some bedrooms vents need to be open unless a guest is around.

Based on a guest’s presence sensor, I have also defined a custom ST hello mode for him which triggers a specific schedule for the zone where the guest bedroom is located.

That’s the kind of requirements that my smartapps can deal with, and for this kind of requirements, I charge a consulting fee for the initial setup (when needed).

Regards.


(Devesh Batra) #14

i’m getting an error when i try to install your app via pull request

Updated 0 and created 0 SmartApps, 0 published (1 skipped due to errors)


(Yves Racine) #15

Hi @BatraD, I’ve not set up github for pull requests yet. Just need to copy and paste the smartapp’s code.

Regards.

EDIT: The github integration should work now.


(Devesh Batra) #16

Thanks… Manual install worked


(Devesh Batra) #17

@yvesracine is it possible to set the room temp x deg higher for cooling and y deg cooler for heating in your app ? or that option is only in the paid version ?
thanks


(Yves Racine) #18

Hi,

The KeenVentManager was commissioned by Keen Home and they gave me a specific set of requirements for the development.

The distinct cooling & heating temp thresholds can bet set in ScheduleRoomTempControl ($10) along with the concept of zones & schedules. A zone is composed of 1 to many rooms.

The smartapp is available for download at my store.

Regards.


(Eric M) #19

I can’t seem to get the github integration working either.


(Yves Racine) #20

As indicated above in the 1st post:

  • You can manually copy and paste the smartapp from my github.

  • You can also find the smartapp under the SmartThingsPublic github repo. If you have the github integration, you just need to select the yracine/KeenVentManager smartapp when you “Update From Repo” (yracine is at the end of the “New - only in Github” list).

GitHub Settings:

Owner: yracine
Name: SmartThingsPublic
Branch: master

Regards…


(Nate Padgett) #21

Hey @KevinH,

Thought I’d jump in here and answer your questions about bottomline impact. We only have partial data at this point because most homes have only had Smart Vents for 6 months or so, but many have reported noticeable improvements in their comfort and at least one has reported a 50% reduction in his gas bill with Smart Vents paired with a Nest. Based on past research conducted by our team and others, we expect about 15% savings on average with Smart Vents. You may be interested in this efficiency study of Smart Vents from the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute.