Periodic Blower (Fan only) Cycle

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  • Official comment
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    Flair Customer Support

    Hi Everybody,

    Flair is happy to announce that the Enhanced Circulation feature is now available!

    Go into your thermostat settings and scroll to the Enhanced Circulation setting. You can choose from one of the following options:

    1. Disabled: This feature is disabled
    2. Vents in Active Rooms Only: Vents in Active Rooms open when the fan is running
    3. All Vents: Vents in all rooms open when the fan is running

    We hope you enjoy this new feature and appreciate all your feedback!

    All the best,

    Finn

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    John Bartlet

    Right now, we do not support this custom mode due to the way our backend integration works with ecobee. We do have a mode that we're testing where your Smart Vent can look at the air temperature coming from the fan and measure this against the temperature seen in the room, but that doesn't seem like something you're looking for with ventilation.

    Most, if not all, of our customers look for temperature-based automation, but I've passed this on to our engineering team to consider with respect to ventilation-based automation.

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    Ken Schnautz

    The ecobee has this 'venting' option built-in - it's really not a custom option either (see item 2). Ecobee's API even allows for that to be detemined easily:

    https://www.ecobee.com/home/developer/api/examples/ex4.shtml

    Call:

    curl -s -H 'Content-Type: text/json' -H 'Authorization: Bearer ACCESS_TOKEN'
    'https://api.ecobee.com/1/thermostatSummary?json=\{"selection":\
    {"selectionType":"registered","selectionMatch":"","includeEquipmentStatus":true\}\}'

    with the response indicating which units are running:

    {
    "thermostatCount": 1,
    "revisionList": [
    "318324666666:Main Floor:true:150212154942:150202090801:150212155501:150212154000"
    ],
    "statusList": [
    "318324666666:auxHeat1,fan"
    ],
    "status": {
    "code": 0,
    "message": ""
    }
    }

    In my case, I think that having an 'OPEN ALL VENTS ON FAN ONLY' option would be sufficient. Or, an 'OPEN VENTS when NOT COOLING and NOT HEATING' would probably be more universal for other applications, like this one.

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    Austin J Donohoe

    I agree with Ken, I would very much like this option. Usually our bedroom gets warm and stale with 2 adults and 2 large dogs sleeping, and we use the blower fan 20min/hr over night to keep air moving and even cool the room when the thermostat is set to heat. 

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    James Maniaci III

    I am also looking for a way for my vents to open when I have the fan circulating air periodically using the ecobee.   Is there an easy way to get this done.   Step by step example maybe?

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    Jacob Hull

    +1 for this feature. Would love to have vents closed if heater is blowing and room is warm enough, but open if fan only is blowing.

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    Gary Menszyk

    +1 also! We usually have had the fan going at a lower rate when it is neither heating or cooling to freshen the air.

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    James Arthur

    Please add this functionality. I have my fan turn on to filter the air but the HVAC can't push the air out of the rooms with closed vents.

    Also I'll run the fan on days where I'm trying to pull the warm air from upstairs into the basement, but with the vent closed, the system can't push the air out.

    Ken's open vents trigger needs to be implemented. I'm going to have to return the vents and puck if they can't do this simple task.

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    Vitaliy K

    Hello Flair team,

    I'd like to have same feature for Nest. Turn on fan periodically and open all vents to allow air to circulate.

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    Matthew Gleed

    I have a two story split level house with an open central stairwell.  This causes heating in the winter to all rise to the upper floor and cooling in the summer to sink to the bottom floor.  I use the periodic fan function of my Ecobee to help even out the upper and lower floor temps.  So I too would like to see this functionality added.  In another post it was stated that this feature request is gaining traction so if votes count you have my vote for this feature.  Thanks.

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  • Avatar
    Flair Customer Support

    Hi All,

    Thanks for the input! I’ve added your requests for the adaptive circulation feature.

    All the best,
    Finn

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    Brian Wuttke

    I am also looking for this feature with Ecobee and Flair. Would love to see it integrated soon

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    Mason

    This would certainly be an appreciated function. Stale air is the worst. I haven't experienced it like this ever before setting up these vents. Thanks!

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    Vitaliy K

    Flair team, any ETA for this feature?

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    Flair Customer Support

    Hi Vitaliy,

    I agree, this is a really great feature! I have flagged this for the product team, and am hopeful that they'll let us know when it will be considered for a future roadmap.

    All the best,

    Finn

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  • Avatar
    Ken Schnautz

    I appreciate your team's ongoing development, Finn!

    I was surprised to stumble on your FAQs tonight and found the new documentation in scheduling/occupany detection to be VERY helpful.

     

    This is my last remaining 'gotcha' feature. I can't wait to see your solution.

     

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    Flair Customer Support

    Thanks, Ken!

    Yes, we've made some documentation updates. Glad you find them helpful.

    All the best,

    Finn

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    Kendel

    Another +1 for this feature to control the vents (or at least OPEN) the vents during a fan-only cycle with Ecobee thermostats.  Like others have mentioned, the air gets stale in the rooms where the vents virtually stay closed for days (for example upstairs room in the winter).

    As other's have highlighted though, my REAL request for this is to even the room temperatures as the product is supposed to do. 

    For example, in the last few minutes..... my downstairs room is 69 deg and my upstairs rooms are 72 & 75 (3 total sensors).  I'm in the room that is 75.  The ecobee thermostat is set to AUTO with heat at 70 and cool at 72.  Since the average temperature of the 3 sensors is 72, the ecobee cooling feature is not coming on.  Since the outside temperature is around 50 degrees, the house is relatively a stable 'average' temperature and the heating/cooling unit hasn't needed to come on in a couple hours.  In this circumstance I want the fan to run to balance this temperature out. 

    But there's the real problem.  If I turn the fan-only on (or set it to run automatically a few minutes every hour), the air only circulates in the downstairs area (where anyone there is saying it is already cool) and NO AIR circulates in the upstairs rooms since the Flair vents are all CLOSED (until the temperature drops below 72).  

    This puts the system in a catch 22!

    This usually escalates this point and then have to manually force the upstairs vents open and run the fan.  Sounds like from other comments in this post that the information is there from the ecobee API....

    So if we could at least get the vents to OPEN when the HEAR/COOL function cuts off (regardless of the fan).... or even better for the Flair to see the fan is on ONLY and reverse the vents at that time.  In theory it seems it would be great for the downstairs vents to CLOSE and the upstairs vents to OPEN in my circumstance described.  This of course would need to reverse again once the HEAT came back on.   This last scenario might be hard due to any time delays (how often) the status is checked, etc.  

    Thanks for listening!  I really enjoy your product overall.  This seems to mainly be an issue when the HEAT/COOL system isn't having to work very hard.  On very cold days or very hot days, seems to really work well.

    Thanks, Kendel

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    Michel V

    Another scenario that may justify some fan implementation. I'm just starting to use the product and have not received vents yet as they are back-order. But as part of my implementation, I was thinking of adding a central humidifier, tied to my Ecobee Smart. Haven't fully looked at this option yet but I would think that if there is call for humidification, Ecobee will start the fan, without necessarily be in call for heat. So regardless of the details or even implementation, I would make it +1 even if it was simply with the above scenario.

    Michel

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    Chris Traeger

    Another +1 for this. 

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    Flair Customer Support

    Hi All,

    A few bits of info...

    Scheduling can help with temperature regulation by prioritizing Active rooms.

    Scheduling rooms to Inactive will let Flair use these rooms as “dump rooms” to vent extra air for back pressure protection. And when using Flair as the Set Point Controller, Flair will remove Inactive rooms from the whole home temperature average used to determine when to adjust the smart thermostat set point. (ecobee let’s you do something similar with remote sensors and comfort settings).

    You can also get creative by setting set points a little higher or lower in specific rooms to force the home average higher or lower - and bring more heat or AC to those rooms.

    Also keep in mind that if Flair opens all Smart Vents each time the fan is on, that could mess with temperature regulation - especially if the fan is running each hour.

    All the best,
    Sam

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    Ken Schnautz

    Flair Customer Support

    Sam,

    I think we all understand and can appreciate that running a fan with all vents open will typically trend towards equalizing all rooms, which might counteract any room-specific temperature settings. No one here would argue that it may be counterproductive when setting rooms at different temperatures.

    Instead, users interested in the 'vents open when fan on' implementation are more likely prioritizing one of the following instead of room temperature:

    • improving air quality through higher air-exchanges per hour
    • regulating humidity with a whole-house humidifier or dehumidifier
    • balancing hot/cool areas using the more cost-effective recirculation with a fan instead of additional A/C or heat

    That said, I standby my original suggestion, which I think would suffice for all the above use-cases:

    Set the Flair System to utilize the ecobee API and watch for 'Fan Only' modes. Open all vents when fan is running, but there is no call for heat or cooling.

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    Flair Customer Support

    Hi Ken,

    Most systems use the fan to circulate conditioned air as an efficiency measure after the heat/AC cycle.

    Aside from ecobee’s min fan setting, do you know how often your fan runs in a typical day?

    All the best,

    Sam

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    Ken Schnautz

    Most systems use the fan to circulate conditioned air as an efficiency measure after the heat/AC cycle.

    The feature you refer to is called 'Heat/Cool Dissipation' in ecobee. When that setting is 'Auto', the HVAC system, there is no call for FAN outside of the call for HEAT/COOL. However, you can manually set the value to X seconds, and the thermostat will issue a call for FAN after the HEAT/COOL call is released. I admit there may be some difficulty in differentiating between that brief period and a FAN ONLY period. If that ends up being a problem, just make sure to outline the limitations in the documentation for the new feature.

    Aside from ecobee’s min fan setting, do you know how often your fan runs in a typical day?

    I don't understand your question. I've told my ecobee to run the fan X minutes each hour using the 'Fan Minimum On Time' setting. Outside that, it runs anytime I have a call for HEAT/COOL, but that is driven by the HVAC, not the thermostat.

    Thus, for my situation, the logic can be as simple as 'open all vents during any call for FAN'

    Others may have older thermostats that require FAN + HEAT/COOL when heating and cooling, but that's easily differentiated by watching for aux1heat, aux2heat, cool1, cool2, etc. in the ecobee API. The API returns Equipment Status:

    • heatPump
    • heatPump2
    • heatPump3
    • compCool1
    • compCool2
    • auxHeat1
    • auxHeat2
    • auxHeat3
    • fan
    • humidifier
    • dehumidifier
    • ventilator
    • economizer
    • compHotWater
    • auxHotWater

    You would just watch for 'fan' without any of the associated heating and cooling methods.

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    Chris Traeger

    I'm with Ken on this.  My home tends to have big swings in heat/cool.  My basement gets down to 65 degrees in summer and my office (south facing) gets upwards of 85 degrees at the same time.  Both are usually occupied and it causes problems with flair and ecobee to work together well.  With a call to the fan only from Flair and then using the vents to direct basement air back to the blower and send it upward to my office seems like an efficiency would be gained (not just for me but for everybody using flair).  Seems quite limited to only have a fan call when heat/cool is also on.  Also, a button within the flair controller for all open with a timer (15 minutes, 30 minutes...until I change it) would be a great addition for those of us who like to circulate air at certain times.

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    Mikehugo

    Sam,

    To your question of "how often your fan runs in a typical day?" here's an example: our fan runs nearly 90% of the time.  Here's an example ecobee report from the last 7 days showing the number of seconds the fan is on and the number of seconds the heat is on.  You'll notice that the fan is blowing a lot, even when the heat is not on.  https://www.icloud.com/iclouddrive/0rAaIN0Sg_aKYKD3sIQWKP4Ww#tstat-report2021-02-01-to-2021-02-08 This is primarily to support air filtration.  It'd be great if the flair vents could recognize when the fan is on in fan only mode and open the vents to facilitate that air circulation for filtering purposes.

     

     

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    Kendel

    Sounds like the simple “open all vents” would be the best overall solution when ecobee gives a FAN ONLY code.

    Maybe add it as a check mark option in the system settings (for example):
    Yes - Help balance room-to-room temperatures/humidity/air circulation by opening all Flair vents during FAN ONLY cycles. 
    No - Restrict air flow/humidity control to only the required rooms based on HEAT/COOL cycles only.

    As a little further clarification of my normal circumstance:

    It’s mildly cool outside (40-50 degrees).  Ecobee in Auto Heat/Cool mode with a heat setting of 70 and a cool setting of 72. No minimal fan time set.  All parts of the house are active.

    Current temps: 1st floor temperature is 69.  2nd floor temperature is 73.  Ecobee averages to 71.

    Since the average is within the set bounds, the ecobee doesn’t call for heat or a/c (but last called for heat).

    So ideally from the current temps above, I would like the 1st floor to get a little Heat and the 2nd floor get cool air.  But the ecobee can’t do both heat and a/c at the same time.  But it can run the FAN ONLY to pull cool air to the 2nd floor and push warm air to the 1st floor just by circulating the air in the house...... if only all the vents were OPEN.  The Flair system though has closed most of the 2nd floor vents since they were 73 degrees to avoid heating the 2nd floor anymore.  Flair assumes the heat is still running (the last ecobee heat/cool cycle was heat and I assume it remembers that or reads something from the ecobee).  So none of the cool air circulates to the 2nd floor, only the cool air blows in the 1st floor.

    An hour later the ecobee still hasn’t called for a heat or cool cycle.  1st floor temperature is now still at 69 but the 2nd floor is now up to 75 (just from body heat, other home equipment, etc.).  Ecobee average is now 72 which is still within its temp setting bounds. If I turn the ecobee fan on, the folks on the 1st floor start complaining about the cold fan air blowing down there while the folks on the 2nd floor are stuffy and hot with no air movement.

    At this point I usually manually open the Flair vents on the 2nd floor OR change the ecobee temp setting to trigger the A/C.

    Thanks for your continued support!

    Kendel

     

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    CJ Weber

    I like the open all vents options, I would add another option for how the vents should operate on circulation. This could be at the vent level or the entire system, having it open or close based on the supply air temp. My first floor room generally get too warm, even in winter because of the windows, and my basement too cold. The supply air is generally around 69 when circulating. Maybe using a 2 degree threshold if rooms are 2+ degrees oversetpoint and the supply air is cooler, it opens the vents, and if the room is 2+ degrees below setpoint and the air is warmer then it opens the vents. This would cool my upstairs better, heat my basement better, and keep the air in my kids room where he sleeps during the day closer to his overall warmer setpoint. If vents do not have the ability to read supply air temps, then you could sell a sensor that could or some other hardware solution. This is the sole reason I tell people to avoid Flair, everyday I have to adjust my vents because of this "automation" 69 degree air is being pumped through my house, my grand room is set to 68 degrees and the vents are shut while the room skyrockets to 74 degrees plus and my kids room get overcooled because we keep it 71 so the vent is almost always open in heat mode but when the circulation fan kicks on it cools it to a point that wakes him up. I have 19 vents, still need 2 more, 4 pucks, 1 ecobee, and 11 remote sensors. All this hardware and its still uncomfortable and temps are way off. AHHHH its been 2 years and you guys still havent done anything. 

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    Ryan

    This is a long thread that has been going on for over a year. Since the API calls are pretty straight forward, why can’t flag / option be added to “open vents during fan”. Done.

    I am not understanding why this can’t be added in an afternoon by the devs vs me building my own calls. Let’s make it happen guys. 

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    Matt Broda

    Indeed - it looks like this thread has been around for a while.  I am running into the issue described above as well.  Let me describe my use case:

    The house is equipped with both forced air cooling and heating.  The climate is such that winter is all heating, summer is mostly cooling, and fall and spring you can have heat in the morning and cooling running in the afternoon.  My objective is to even out temperature across 3 levels of the house.  Before installing Flair this has been done by running furnace fan all the time at 40%.  This gets the temperature within 1.5C between top and bottom of the house during the heating season and within 2.5 - 3C within the cooling season.  

    After installing Flair vent and puck in the coldest bedroom on the lowest level my temperature differential actually went up to ~4C.  The reason for this is that when cooling kicks in during the day Flair vent shuts and does not open until a heating cycle happens - usually next morning.  In the meantime the bedroom no longer gets the benefit of air circulation from the furnace since the vent is shut - despite the fact that the room temperature is 2 -3C below set point and that Duct Temperature is 1.5-2C higher than the room temperature.

    In my use case, if Flair was to ignore all the thermostat input (other than the global setpoint) and simply opened the vent when room below or above the setpoint by, say 1C, and duct temperature is above or below room temperature - say by the same 1C.  This way, if there is temperature difference between vent and room that can bring the room closer to setpoint open the vent; otherwise close it.

     

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