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These “Smart” Vents May Not Be So Smart…

A Company’s Attempt at Better Airflow

Have you ever noticed that when you turn on your heat, one room in your home gets really warm while another only gets only a little warm? Well now there’s something to help rectify that situation.

New York City-based company Keen Home has rolled out a product called “Smart Vents,” which are wi-fi-connected air vents designed to redistribute airflow around the home. Not only will the temperatures of your rooms feel more even, but you’ll also save energy (and in turn, money).

Each vent is listed at $80 and Keen Home suggests using one or two in the rooms you find don’t heat or cool as well. Using your home’s wi-fi connection, the vents can “communicate” and open or close accordingly to bring a room’s temperature up to where it should be – which sounds pretty great, right?

The only thing is, while the idea is practical, the vents may actually cause more harm than help. Closing off certain vents to push more air into others isn’t exactly good for your HVAC system. In fact, altering the airflow can actually throw the system off balance and can even cause damage in the long run.

In an article by Energy Vanguard, Allison Bailes, PhD, says, “The fundamental problem here is that closing supply vents in your HVAC system changes what comes out in particular locations. It doesn’t change what the blower is trying to do. Nor does it change the amount of heat the air conditioner, heat pump, or furnace is trying to move or produce.”

Keen Home claims to have solved this problem, stating that the vents are equipped with sensors that open up the vents when they sense excess pressure. However, if sensors override the initial open-close procedure, it seems the effectiveness of the whole project is questionable.

Nevertheless, while Smart Vents may prove to be helpful in regulating your home’s temperature, we recommend consulting our Glen Mills heating and air conditioning experts before you install them.