Are these vents now working with ST??
I wanted to update my Econet experience as I went through all of last winter (they only make sense for me on the top floor of my house with heat) and now a few weeks with them turned on again.
So as I have previously stated, I have 5 Econet 100s. 4 of them had bad motors and I have to say the Econet customer service was amazing, and overnighted me 4 replacements. The fact that 4 of the motors were bad is not a great testimonial, but they made it right, fast, I was impressed.
Fast forward to today, I am having problems keeping ST devices (i have 150) connected so I went through every device today to make sure everything was working. Long story short, one of my 5 Econet 100s is receiving a command from the ST hub and trying to open and close (you see a green or red LED for open and close respectively) but the motor is totally fried, at least it does nothing, even using the manual button.
I can’t really justify something where 5 of the 9 units I have bought failed in some way. The nice thing is I have been waiting for these Keen vents since I heard about them maybe a year ago. I finally saw them in Lowes and tried to pick one up. The first Lowes said they had a bunch, but couldn’t find them. I went to another nearby Lowes and they had all the sizes except for the 6x10s I need. The computer said they had 2 of them, but they couldn’t find them either.
Bottom line, the guy at Lowes let me open one of the boxes up to take a look and WOW. This thing is well made. I am directly comparing it to the Econet, and basically there is no comparison. The Keen vent was solid, its heavy, it feels well made. This contrasts with the Econet which feels very cheap, the motor is weak and even the wires leading to the unit are tiny. I wish wish wish I could have found one and given a full review, but the guy at Lowes took my number and tells me he will call me when he finds them.
It’s not too late to order the Keen Home vents with $40 discount…
See this thread:
P.S. I’ve just installed them and they work great with the smartapps that I’ve developed.
Fingers crossed my ecovent system should be arriving to me in December!! Super stoked!!
Quick update as I was able to get my hands on 3 Keen Smart Vents from Lowes. They are scarce, but I got 2 6x10 units and 1 4x10 from two different stores. I have been using them for a couple of days and really like them, but will post my impressions after Ive used for a week or so. I have no hub and was able to connect to ST very easily.
The one thing I can say for sure is, make sure you have an external temperature gauge. I live by my Everspring units. For the reason why, see my screenshot. I heard all sorts of talk from Keen that they had managed to isolate the internal gauge from the heat from the vent. In my experience this is not even close to true. The only thing the internal temp gauge could possibly be good for is telling you whether or not the heat is on in your house. I have an Everspring in every room, and this solves the problem completely, but be warned, the temp gauge is useless when the heat is on. See pic.
This topic (and more) has been discussed under the following thread:
It’s getting closer to the holidays, which means my ecovent system should be coming soon!!! It’s be hard waiting 13 months for this baby!!
Anyone building a baseboard vent, very popular in the cold Buffalo area?
So it’s been a little over a year now and every week I get my updates from ecovent about the status of when the vents will be shipped out. I had the opportunity to speak with them last night and I asked a lot about their API and if it would play nice with ST. Seems like I should hopefully get my vents in Jan which is awesome. It also sounds like they are going to get the IFTTT integration done first and then focus on the API side of things after that. They did also say that their hub for the vents have a zigbee chip in it but didn’t say if they were going to use it down the road or not for HA. I know the system is more expensive compared to the econet vents but it’s a whole system that include keeping an eye on the pressure within the HVAC system and also multiple temp sensors, which is useful for pulling temps and humidity into ST in order to control my ceiling fans via a photon and outlets for my humidifiers.
My Ecovent system, http://ecoventsystems.com finally arrived yesterday. I have an older home so I need to do some modifications in order to get the vents installed. Right now they still haven’t opened their API access but hopefully it will soon, so I can use the sensor data for controlling my ceiling fans and humidifiers in the bedrooms. I hope to get some or all of the vents installed today and I’ll update how it goes. I’ll be using a nest for my thermostat however “works with nest” program seems to be strict and seems like a Sensi thermostat would allow the ecovent system to have more control of the system. I’ll start out with the nest and see how things go. If I have to I’ll switch over to a Sensi to see if it does q better job.
For my order they sent 5-6x10 vents, 3-6x12 vents, 4x12 floor vent, 7-room sensors, Samsung tablet and all the little other things shown in the photos.
The app looks different from the website because I’m using the Nest. With the big number is the nest target temp. The rooms you adjust them warm or cooler than the nest target temp. With the Sensi I guess everyroom you actually set a temp. My concern here using nest is if a room is cold and ecovent knows it but the nest has hit its target temp the ecovent can’t trigger the nest to call for heat to just warm up that room, because it’s against “works with nest”. With a Sensi I guess ecovent call call for heat to just warm up that room.
Jealous… Still waiting for my vent sizes to go to production.
I have 8 Keen vents installed along with @yvesracine ScheduleRoomTempControl app and everything is working perfectly. Previously I could never balance the temperature upstairs and downstairs, but now I have everything working great. Now all my rooms are usually within 1 degree of each other. I do agree with @krv that you need a separate temperature gauge in each room, as the Keen vents are not even close, especially when heating. Everything I learned was on the thread at:
Setup went well with my vents but was a little pain. I had to mod my vents because the age of my house after that all the vents popped right in. I wasn’t able to install one vent because the opening is all messed up, new weekend project I guess. (Photo below) Now as I spoke about above the nest with ecovent has limitations. When the HVAC runs all the rooms get to the temps I set however when my sunroom gets cold it won’t tell the nest to run just to heat up that room (photo below) I have to wait for the nest located in my hallway to drop below the target temp. The support has been awesome and respond to my questions within hours. They are still working on the app and system so I hope they might improve this because I don’t want to switch to the Sensi thermostat. I had one vent give me issues during the installation. I couldn’t get it connected and they had help me get that fixed within the hour via email support. Now I’m waiting for them to give me access to a portal that will allow me to see all the vent and sensor data and I am still pressing them to give me access to their API. I have plans to use my ST motion sensors to tell ecovent if a room is occupied or not and also use sensor data to bring into SmartThings to control my fans or my humidifiers.
Ceiling fan controller?
Cant’ wait to hear how your system works over time @ijthoma . I find that in the winter my setup is extremely effective and I couldn’t live with out it. Basically preventing the upstairs rooms from overheating trying to heat the downstairs. Last summer I basically just opened everything up as I don’t really have problems over cooling the downstairs. Will be interesting to see if that’s any different now that I have the whole downstairs fitted setup with Keen vents. (I have all econets on the upstairs.) @yvesracine is there a reason you went with the schedule approach with ScheduleRoomTempControl and didn’t use modes? Are there any plans to support modes in the future?
By modes, you mean ST hello modes like Night, Home, and Away or any custom ones?
ST Hello Modes are already supported in all my Zoned Heating/Cooling Solutions on the Schedule Setup page (next to/ last parameter at the bottom of the page).
P.S. If you have any other questions, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org, as it’s easier for me to follow any customer requests through gmail conversations.
I currently using a Particle Photon to control one of these. I’m using 2 AA batteries and a simple H-brige motor controller, along with a DS18s20 temperature sensor. I activate the motor for 1.2 seconds to open or close based on temperature (still need to hand a scope on the original controller and measure the actual time). Right now the senor is hanging out the side of the vent, taped 6" away to minimize influence from the cold air coming from the vent.
The Photon allows remote programming via WiFi, and once complete, vent to vent communications so I do t close too many vents at one time. I also need to work out n power reduction, as I eat through the batteries in a couple of days.
More to come, but these vent-miser’s work great, especially for the price.
Tim, just be sure you don’t harm your HVAC system. I’ve done a fair amount
of research on this topic since originally looking at the vents, and it
appears that the various pressures and backpressures in a system are indeed
of critical importance.
Jerry Hatchett, CCE, EnCE
Certified Computer Examiner
EnCase Certified Examiner
Licensed Private Investigator (Texas PSB License #A18333)
DISCLAIMER: Anything I say, particularly with regard to technology, should
be interpreted generally, not specifically. The online world is a wonderful
thing, but rarely is it practical to cover every imaginable scenario in a
written, fast-paced forum. There are often exceptions, so keep that in mind.
Here is a question for everyone who follow this. With the smart vent (Wifi control), to me it doesn’t make sense as I don’t really play around with temperature setting everyday. So for my use, I just want to program the room as what I normally do with the house thermostat (lock at 70°F all day due to stay at home wife) then never have to look at it again. For this, it does not justify to pay extra money for the Wifi control system that I don’t play with the setting everyday.
That being said, I’m a homeowner of a 4 rooms (colonial, 3 girls) in Michigan. Two of my daughter’s room facing south, so in the winter time it’s always hot when the sun came out but fine without the sun. I have made an automatic vent open/shutoff using a $3 Arduino Nano, $3 servo, an el cheapo thermostat and a 5 volt transformer (old cell phone charger). This have been working great in one of my daughter’s room and I’m planning to do a few more for the other rooms. With less than $20/room I think it’s great on a lot of ways. Not cooking my kids in their own room is the biggest factor of this project but also a low cost project and potentially save money on heating and cooling in the long run. The money saving was not what I planned. It’s the safety of my kids is what I’m after. There were a couple times that my kids woke up with bleeding nose as it was too hot in the room while they were sleeping.
If anyone feel offensive please don’t as I’m just asking for everyone opinion regarding the WIFI control as I have seen more and more coming out in the market.
This thread has a great amount of detail that’s really helpful. I have a similar question, except it’s a little different in that I’m starting from scratch.
I recently purchased a house with four very small efficiency apartments. The apartments are supplied by a common residential HVAC system. As the landlord, I pay the utilities. The units are very small and each has what appears to be a single 4x12 heating vent (although I need to research this further). I’m looking for ways to minimize my utility costs without sacrificing tenant comfort. As a starting point, I thought about putting in a smart thermostat with time of day controls and a system to monitor temperature in each unit. However, this could quickly start to cost money and I’d like to move in a direction that I could expand into a more capable system.
The total solution that I’m looking for would ideally:
(1) provide remote monitoring and control, via internet (preferably via wifi),
(2) give the ability to install a temperature sensor in each unit and track temperature by unit over time
(3) provide the ability to install a smart vent in each unit and intelligently control the smart vent centrally via programmatic rules
(4) Give ability to link sensors and vents to create HVAC zones (one zone for each unit in this case)
(5) Provide the ability to slightly limit airflow to units without totally shutting off airflow (I wouldn’t want a computer program to decide to shutoff all vents except one then fire up the furnace possibly damage the HVAC system… a system of detecting high pressure at the vent and opening the vent when pressure is high would also be good),
(6) At a minimum, the ability to adjust vent volumes somewhat to maintain constant heat across units,
(7) A simple user interface (web browser with temperature by time of day is ok),
(8) The ability to automatically get all of this to work together to maintain a separate custom temperature schedule in each unit (nice to have),
(9) the ability to slightly reduce heat / cooling to empty units based on motion sensing (nice to have),
(10) booster fans in the vents that can be used to increase airflow at vents that have lower pressure (very nice to have)
(11) the ability to set custom rules around running the blower fan on the HVAC system to redistribute heat is also a great idea
(12) Finally, the solution needs to be reasonably affordable (under $1,000 for everything, preferably under $500), and be sufficiently reliable that I don’t worry about it running on its own a couple miles from my house or constantly need to drive over to tinker with it to get it to work
Thoughts and advice are definitely appreciated.
Yep, we like it. Of course, your system would have to be configured such that its optimal flow is not impeded by the controls, but merely redirected.