Vents Auto closing and opening according to occupancy of one room
I want to use Flair vents as a simplified zone system (or simple VAV system). I have a room (12 x12) that is normally unoccupied on the second floor of a two zone house system. When it is occupied, it is occupied by about six people for four to six hours. When it is occupied, it quickly gets hot and stale in the cooling months. It can also be challenging during the heating months, starting cold and then not so much if there is not enough air flow.
My thought is to starve some of the floor of air (normally open vents to close), and deliver that air (heated or cooled or fan) to the room where everyone is (normally closed vents to open). Right now, the house has two ecobee thermostats and some remote sensors and a Honeywell zone board for the two floors. I will probably add a second supply vent in that room to help this situation. The primary question is how best to have that room become (when occupied) the priority (not part of an average of several sensors) for temperature cool/heat calls and maybe even weather to set the mode to heat or cool and to get most of the air?
Is there an easy way to manually close the NO vents and open the NC vents and run the fan in ON mode and let the system stay as it was?
This is a pretty classic problem solved by the Flair system. In the app (adhoc or scheduled) or on the Puck you can make a room "inactive" and it removes that room from any averaging and prioritizes active rooms both regarding the equipment running and the vent configuration. There is an option called comfort+ that support can enable allowing for a more aggresive "averaging" function that caters to rooms farther from their setpoints as well although you likely won't need that if you utilize the active/inactive feature. You can even utilize the ecobee remote sensors to drive the active/inactive which is a nifty feature.
Thanks for the reply. What began to become apparent to me is to fix a room that is too hot or too cold when occupied, requires several vents in OTHER rooms to close, to both not over-cool/heat those areas and to increase the flow in the problem room, but doesn't really require an active vent in the problem room at all. If an active vent is in the problem room, its main function would be to close when not in use (NC) and open when used. Can the system be set up to normally CLOSE the vent in the one inactive room (no others on an occupy schedule), and open it when it turns active (occupancy), and then prioritize the temperature sensor (ecobee?) in that room, and OPEN a chosen one to three (or all others) not in that room?
My guess is that there will be no substitute for a bit of manual experimentation and adjusting in the zone. When it is set up, i suspect that what will be needed is to install and close one to three NO vents in the cooling zone (second floor) after detecting occupancy (or simply toggling a switch or turning a knob) and opening the vent in the special room. To me this sounds like a flair control zone where when triggered by room occupancy, one vent opens and three close (assuming the duct pressure is ok) and the room temperature sensor becomes dominant, resetting when 30 minutes of non-occupancy occurs. This might be glitchy if the occupancy triggers when someone just walks in and then out (less than 2 min), so some proper hysteresis would be needed.
By the way, why isn't there an IR motion/occupancy sensor in the pucks, so that you don't need to rely on ecobee remote sensors?
Absolutely on the "which rooms should I put vents". If the problem room perpetually gets too little air, you could consider adding a vent or you could just make sure there is a sensor in there so that we know whether we might need to run the equipment a bit longer. Generally the drivers of vents are the setpoint (for the room) vs actual temp and the inactive/active status of a room rather than manual open/closing. You can game the system into effectively manual open/closing if you'd like however by setting very high/low setpoints on rooms with a schedule and then just having the thermostat do its regular thing instead of having flair manage the thermostat. To your point, sometimes a bit of tinkering is needed to get it doing exactly what you want, which does vary by user a good amount. Good question on the 2 min occupancy peice - I wonder if ecobee has a feature for that with their remote sensors because if so, it would naturally carry over via the integration.
We thought about adding PIR to the Puck but we were already worried about controlling costs of the unit as well as the added power consumption of PIR. If the puck didn't have a display, wasn't blasting IR, etc. perhaps the power budget would allow for PIR but we were concerned that it might really reduce battery lifetime. Also, for minisplit users, finding an installation location that could be triangulated between line of sight to the minisplit AND would be an ideal PIR position could be difficult and not a great experience. Lastly, temperatures move slowly so sometimes motion is just not as good as a schedule for many homeowners.
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