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.
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 :).
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.
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).
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).
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.