Keen home air vent
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48 posts in this topic

I just pre-ordered two Keen home air vents.The are shipping in July. They should be compatible with Iris. The pre -orders come with a free hub. Here is a link .

Keen Home

www.keenhome.io/

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This was on Shark Tank Friday night

They mentioned Lowes has pre ordered 35,000 units and lowes has an exclusive to retail but not online

They didn't specifically mention IRIS but it was still pretty cool

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I can't wait ! Keen homes web site says that it will work with Iris and Smart things hubs. We will see how long it take Lowes to get on board with this new product.

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Just ordered mine. Wow I had to order 5 of them, since I have a big 2 story home. And that's still leaving a few of my vents with the old vent cover. But, if it helps to control temperature in my whole house thruout the year then it'll be worth it. But for $310 and the free hub, I think it was a pretty good deal for 5 of them. Wondering how much Lowe's will be selling them for. Oh and TAX FREE too. I hate paying CA TAX!

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Im going to get more but I started with two.I agree with you ITATodd ,it should help with the hvac bill

 

That is why I got 5 NOW, because of the price. I figured it was a very good deal and NO Sales Tax plus Free Shipping. If I need more I can get more later, but at the moment this will just be replacing all my upstairs vents in the house except for the one in my office/loft area which is not a size they sell....yet anyways. Hopefully, they won't be selling for to much when they sell for retail price. I'll be happy if I get them all installed before Summer hits. And of course save some $$$ on my energy bill. 

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You guys are brave! Their website is terrible! I really can't tell what hub is included and what exactly do the vents do. I like the idea, but it's so vague. Most HVAC guys say to zone at the main trunk, not at the vent.

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You guys are brave! Their website is terrible! I really can't tell what hub is included and what exactly do the vents do. I like the idea, but it's so vague. Most HVAC guys say to zone at the main trunk, not at the vent.

 

I'm willing to give it a try and you can always cancel your order before they ship and have a 60-day return after you receive them. I'll be testing it out to see if it's worth it. 

 

I'm sure we must have an HVAC person here on the forum that can provide further feedback on this. 

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You guys are brave! Their website is terrible! I really can't tell what hub is included and what exactly do the vents do. I like the idea, but it's so vague. Most HVAC guys say to zone at the main trunk, not at the vent.

It's probably the worst kickstarter/pre-order website I have ever seen. There is absolutely no details at all as to how they actually work in a smart home. Does anyone know what the actual capabilities within Iris are, especially given the poor climate control support in Iris.

This has the potential to be part of a realy badass system. An Iris controlled thermostat, Iris motion sensors as occupancy monitors and temperature reporting along the smart vent could all work together to create a truly smart and energy efficient home. If only...

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I absolutely hate the idea. 

 

Well, it might work, but you need far more that just the dampers. 

 

First you need to understand that your HVAC blower motor (unless it's a variable speed or two speed) is designed for the specific air flow and head pressure. Restricting the flow would reduce the air flow (heat exchange) and increase the head pressure causing the blower fan motor to work harder, draw more current and fail eventually.

 

Second - heat exchange with the furnace or evaporator coil will be reduced causing furnace to overheat and short cycle (just like installing an oversized furnace), in AC mode it will cause the coil to freeze up (systems with TXV will handle it a little better that fixed orifice though) but restricting the refrigerant flow with TXV would cause increased load to the compressor motor, higher amperage draw, premature failure. Same as installing an oversized AC unit.

 

Now - if you really want to zone your system even more - you'll need:

1) a separate thermostat for each zone. 

2) bypass for your air handler - it's a valve that depending on the head pressure on the supply would let some air back into the return duct.

3) variable speed or two speed air handler, 2 stage furnace, 2 stage AC (this is optional, depends on your system parameters)

4) Control board like Honeywell TureZone

5) automatic dampers

 

Now look at the list above and think - does it worth the "savings" ? And you really won't be able to save much unless you have insulation in your interior walls.

 

Remember - those dampers in your registers (sometimes air handler would have dampers too) are there for a reason of BALANCING the air flow, so you end up with the same temperature around your home, they are NOT for closing off the flow to unused spaces.

 

Now if you want to save some $$ - go rent a FLIR at your HomeDepot - scan your house and seal those leaks! Add insulation where needed, replace leaky windows, etc.

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Okay I'm thinking I might cancel my order now. Last thing I want is to blow up or damage my unit. But I did notice that each unit will sense/detect pressure and adjust the flow opening.

Anyhow from xKing explanation and what I'm reading online, I'm thinking I might cancel now.

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I discussed this with a trusted friend who is in the HVAC business earlier today. His conclusion was this was not a good idea if you had a constant speed air handler. He felt that not only would there be excessive back pressure on the air handler but that it could result in a potential mold issue by forcing air down the duct and not being able to have it exit at the register. He said the proper way to do this would be with a variable speed air handler and zoning at the air handler and not the register.

 

I think I'm going to pass on this one.

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These will be very short lived at Lowe's if they even make it to their shelves. AC repairmen will love these as this is just money in the bank for them due to service calls and replacement HVAC unit sales due to equipment failure from premature failure especially down here in the South where AC units work overtime as it is with heat waves. These are planned obsolescence at its finest.

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So, I just spoke with my Daughters Uncle who does HVAC and Water Heaters in UT. He basically told me not a good idea and when mine finally dies, he said he'll put in a system that will be zoned and dual controls with all the bells and whistles. So, I'll be asking for my refund when I get home tonight. Kind of bummed....always like new things to play with.....Lowe's needs to ramp it up! I need some new toys to play with...... :lol:

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I'm not convinced we're all on the right page with the potential problems with this device but there seems to be some credible information against it's use.

 

Assuming we're correct it makes me wonder how deep Lowe's dug into this before deciding to make it an Iris device.

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So, I just spoke with my Daughters Uncle who does HVAC and Water Heaters in UT. He basically told me not a good idea and when mine finally dies, he said he'll put in a system that will be zoned and dual controls with all the bells and whistles. So, I'll be asking for my refund when I get home tonight. Kind of bummed....always like new things to play with.....Lowe's needs to ramp it up! I need some new toys to play with...... :lol:

 

 

Get a FLIR :)

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I think if you had a couple then you'd be fine. If you did half the house that would be a different issue. If they put a pressure sensor in it I'm sure they wouldn't let it close all the way based on that. If you have some of your manual registers already fully closed then I'd say these are probably better than doing that as they apperantly adjust based on pressure. Im going to try two. If they fully close while the blower is on I'll return them. I'm looking at a zone system anyway and when that happens these will go to the lake house.

From their FAQ: Will closing vents harm my heating/cooling system?

Our Smart Vent has a built-in pressure sensor to give you insight into the health of your system and also ensure completely safe operation. As a general rule, we recommend never closing more than 50% of your total vents to avoid building up potentially harmful system back-pressure.

50% seems like a lot of vents but looks like the sensors monitor it and prevent excessive back pressure. I'm only looking for comfort and better temp control in one area. If you want to be sure you don't have excessive back pressure you can install a barometric bypass damper even if using these.

Round Damper, Dia 12In, Width 14In Honeywell http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000979EXS/ref=cm_sw_r_udp_awd_H6-6ub1Z8YA4Y

Edited by dusterp
Hi

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Ok, so how do those pressure sensors know what is your system designed pressure is? :) I'm also wondering how would they know what is the air handler's head pressure right now, not the pressure at the vent. You know that pressure falls on longer duct runs.

 

dusterp, throw in this thing http://www.amazon.com/Fieldpiece-SDMN5-Dual-Port-Manometer/dp/B000UV0F9Ucause you'll need it to calibrate that bypass damper with weights so it only opens when needed. 

 

BTW, I prefer electronic dampers http://www.amazon.com/Honeywell-CPRD14-TrueZONE-Bypass-Damper/dp/B00QW2XIEAif you going with the TrueZone control system.

 

Another question - how would those dampers know the room temperature? Do they come with external sensor?

This guys at least include the sensor https://www.ecoventsystems.com

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So here is a response I got back from one of the Co-founder's who is the technical lead for the vents. Here is his response:

This is Will McLeod, Technical Co-Founder of Keen Home. We totally get you and your brother's concen. Closing off more than a couple of vents can do more harm than good in many systems. That's why our vents don't work that way.

We tend to keep the language around how the vents work pretty simple so as not to cause confusion. The truth is that they're actually quite sophisticated. The assumption is usually that the vents wait until a room has been over-heated or cooled, then they close off. Instead, the vents modulate or dampen to hundreds of different levels, learning the offset profile of the room and redirecting the air to spill-rooms, ones that are under-conditioned. We're also hard at work on algorithms to detect when more than a handful of vents are on one system, and have them coordinate to ensure that the whole system never restricts more than it should at once. The vents also detect pressure and in-duct temperature conditions and respond. If you manually set one to closed, others will open if they have to. This is one of the reasons that we've been working directly with the IRIS team to get their cloud to talk to ours.

So that's his response. Let's hear the feedback from the forum members.

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The only way that I can see any benefit with these vents is if your ducting is oversized. Most are adequate to undersized, especially with restrictive filters. Closing a vent to reduce airflow will not decrease HVAC costs.

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Wow that's a lot of info ! I think it's a idea we will have to wait and see. Redirecting air to spill rooms and algorithms to vents . It sounds like it can do a lot .

I'm still going to try it out

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what is the problem you guys are trying to solve with these?... If some of the rooms significantly differ in temperature - your problem is likely an insulation and not HVAC system.

 

Properly designed and balanced HVAC system does not need a lot of adjustments during it's operation. I get that some may want to add a zone - for example you have upstairs and downstairs but want upstairs, downstairs and master bedroom - well - there are proper ways of doing it with real zoning, otherwise Honeywell will be selling those "smart" vents long time ago :D

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