What can I expect from Flair?

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    Matt

    I'm guessing your bathroom is small.  Why not just close the vent in there, and leave the door open when not using the facilities?  No cost at all to that.

     

    The puck doesn't need to be on the wall.  I have 3 of them, all in bedrooms sitting on dressers, plugged in.  Just like leaving a cell phone on the dresser.  One of them is behind a picture frame, so you can't even see it.

     

    While you can integrate the Flair system with the main thermostat, that's not a requirement.  I'm sure that's useful when you want/need any room to call for temperature.  If all you need is the rooms that are too cold/hot to close, because anytime they would call for temperature something else is already doing that, then it's just a matter of having reasonably coordinated schedules between the independent systems.

     

    Flair will only ever close a third of the total vents in the house at one time.  That's 5 in your case.  To me, buying more than that would be overkill.  At the end of the day, it's still just one heating/cooling system.  While the vents are very good at helping to balance things, they're not going to let you set wildly different temperatures in different rooms.

     

    The Flair system options can be almost overwhelming to look at because it's designed to support a bunch of different use cases.  From taking complete control of a central system, to controlling mini splits, to doing both at the same time, to working independent of any system on just the vents.  The first thing to do is determine what you want to accomplish, from just restricting some rooms to trying to allow every room to set it's own independent temperature and have the single system try to meet the mixed demand.  The second decision is, which ONE system (Flair or some other thing) will control the actual heat/cool source.

     

    In my case, while I have an Ecobee thermostat and 2 remote sensors, it is NOT integrated with the Flair system at all.  We have 27 vents across the basement, first, and second floors.  With 9 Flair vents and 3 pucks.  There are 2 second floor bedrooms each with 1 vent and 1 puck, then the basement has 7 vents and 1 puck.  Ecobee sensor in the basement and 1 different second floor bedroom.  All the Flair vents are in rooms that get to cold/hot while the second floor Ecobee sensor is in the room that is always the last to get to the correct temperature.  I set the Ecobee to the schedule I want, and when to include each of the sensors in it's use, mostly not using the basement one except at night.  The 3 Flair pucks are on a schedule to limit the rooms.  This way, the Ecobee tries to drive the house to a temperature, averaging across it's sensors.  Each puck is in a room that always get's to temperature first.  Once there, the vents close which both stops/slows that room down and increases airflow to the other rooms.  All 3 pucks have a different set point.  This configuration means, the puck/schedule can be changed to limit at any temp, but they will not cause the heat/cooling to turn on or off.  That basement Ecobee sensor and puck are the only overlap.  With them, I need to be sure to not tell the Ecobee to try and drive the basement sensor to a value that's very different from the Flair limit, since it would never get there.  It's only in the night schedule, which includes all Ecobee sensors, when they have the same value.  The Flair basement vents still close first, since the basement get's there first.  In the summer it doesn't matter much, but in the winter I wanted to be sure if the basement was cold, the heat would come on.  Then, as long as the Fair is allowing a higher heat than the Ecobee is targeting for that sensor, it all works.

     

    In your example, with an independent Flair system, you would never need a vent in the home office.  Since it's the last to reach temp, that vent would never close.  A Nest sensor there would be nice, so that Nest knows to keep running the system.  In the meat-locker, and a few vents that are on the "get there first" side, vents and pucks would let you limit those rooms.  I would personally stop at 5 vents in those early arrival rooms.  That way, they can all be closed at the same time.  Or, stop at 4, and just close the bathroom manually.

     

    The biggest thing I would change in my current set up, is adding 2 pucks.  The basement 7 vents are really in 3 spaces and right now they all trigger on one puck in the central part instead of each space having a more dedicated limit each.

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    Geoffrey Forest

    I am still quite new to Flair, but I am familiar with Ecobee.

    I believe you would only need one Flair puck to act as the gateway, and the rest of the rooms could use Ecobee remote sensors as the temperature sensing device. These are $40 each from Ecobee, and I picked up a 12 pack on ebay for about $15/ea a while back (split them with a friend). That should help out your cost per room.

    To get started, I'd say switch to an Ecobee (personally, I like it much better than the Nest) which comes with one remote sensor which you can put in the small bathroom. Then you can get the Flair starter pack of one vent and one puck. You can put the puck wherever it can be conveniently plugged in (I do believe it needs to be centrally located to communicate with all the vents, but maybe someone else can verify) and try the vent in the bathroom.

    That's an initial investment of $250 (ecobee) + $200 (flair), and you could save a little by going with the Ecobee lite if you don't need Alexa built in (need to buy the sensor separately, but still cheaper than the regular one). And it would be $120 to add each additional room.

    Hope this helps, good luck!

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    Flair Customer Support

    An advantage of using a Puck over a sensor is you can adjust the temperature by rotating the Puck. Good for a guest room, bedroom or office. But if you've got everything on a schedule, then go for the ecobee remote sensors.

    Also, if you'll be using more than 11 Flair devices - Pucks and Smart Vents combined - use the large system calculator to determine how many Gateway Pucks (plugged in) are required\:

    https://flair.co/pages/large-systems

    All the best,

    Finn

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    Ken Schnautz

    I know this is a bit late in the conversation, but since no one addressed it directly...

    Does Flair (the system, software, hardware, cloud, whatever) also modify the fan schedule on the thermostat to stir the air when there is a temperature imbalance?

    No. The Flair system does not ever call for 'fan only', regardless of your thermostat choice. If you have two rooms, the system will call for heat/cool until the average differential from the rooms' setpoints is zero. E.g., if one room is +5° (too warm) and another room -2° (too cool), the system averages that to +3°. It lowers the thermostat set point -3° based on that average.

    To be clear - I'll give you a few examples. Consider three rooms, Rooms A, B, and C. 

    Scenario 1: All rooms start at 65°. You set all three rooms to 70°. Immediately, your rooms each have a -5° average difference between Setpoint (SP) and Actual temps. So, Flair raises the thermostat by 5°. They all start to heat, until Room A = 71° and Room B = 70°, Room C = 67°. At this time, the average delta is -2°... enough to keep calling for heat. But Flair closes A, since it's above 70°. Rooms B and C continue to heat. Then A = 71°, B = 71° and C = 68°. Flair closes B now. The average delta is 0°, but since the thermostat typically overheats by 0.5°, so it will continue to heat a little longer. Eventually, you get A = 71°, B= 71°, C = 69.5°. The average delta is now +0.5°, and the thermostat stops heating. That's what I'd consider an 'ideal' situation.

    Scenario 2: All rooms start at 65°. You set all three rooms to 70°. They all start to heat, until Room A = 71° and Room B = 70°, Room C = 67°. Flair closes A, since it's above 70°. Rooms B and C continue to heat. Unfortunately, vents don't seal 100%, so A also heats a little bit. Then A = 71.5°, B = 71° and C = 69°. Flair closes B now. But your average is also +0.5°... enough to stop the thermostat. So you're left with a slightly over-heated room, and slightly under-heated room. This is more of what you should expect.

    Scenario 3: Room A starts at 73°, Room B at 70°, and Room C at 60°. You set all three rooms to heat to 70°F. Average delta is -2.3°. Room A immediately closes and heat begins. Eventually, the system turns off when A = 73°, B = 71°, C = 67.5° when the average delta rises to +0.5°. You're still stuck with over- and under-heated rooms.  This is the unfortunate scenario that's all too common.

    This is precisely why many of us wish that Flair would implement a 'Fan Only' mode to help mix air. There's no way to equalize preexisting over-heated or over-cooled rooms.

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