Help configuring basement for separate zone?
I have the main floor of my house with smart vents and an Ecobee with several ecobee room sensors. My finished basement has vents that run off the main floor system. In the summer i just close the vents as it stays cool enough but now that colder weather is here i'm trying to setup the basement as a separate zone for heat.
I bought another puck and want to use it as a sensor in the basement. Is there a way i can configure Flair so I can set a temp on the sensor puck and have it turn on the heat knowing that the vents on the main floor will close once they get to their set temps? essentially making my basement a separate zone?
Minor note/clarification - on the flair side, we consider 'zones' to be the true hvac zones in the home, so if you have a single air handler, you have 1 zone. From there, you can set up as many rooms that are independently controllable and within a room you can have as many devices as make sense.
Not sure if that helps clarify but essentially, I'd start by creating a room called 'Basement', assigning the appropriate vents and Pucks/sensors to it, and then if its part of the main hvac system (same blower/heater/ac), make sure that you set that room as part of the main zone. From there, you can just set points as you'd like and it should automatically do what you suggested above if I followed that correctly.
If you email support with the email address you use with your flair account, we can take a look at the setup and make sure it all looks right :)
You can create two homes: home one for the upstairs, controlled by the ecobee, and home two for the downstairs, controlled by a (placeholder) non-integrated thermostat.
If you set the Mode for the downstairs unit to “Auto Heat/Cool” and the system will read the duct temperature and automatically adjust to heating and cooling changes made by home one.
It’s important to understand how set points are managed with Auto Heat/Cool so you can advise your tenants.
Read sections “ Implicit Heat-To and Cool-To Set Points” and “Accounting for Hysteresis” in this article:
All the best,
To add to this, I am wanting my basement (a rental suite) to have its own zone in the aspect that the tenant can independently control just the basement. Would be nice to have a guest profile for the tenant where they can have their own app to control just their zone and have no control over the main house
So I’ve got my puck setup in the basement however I’m trying to have it so I can set the temp and have the furnace come on without effecting the other “rooms” (I.e the main floor). I’d like those rooms to stay set to what the ecobee is set and as the heat runs those rooms would close their vents when they reach the temp.
Is that possible?
If you want the basement temperature to drive the ecobee, do this:
• Set Flair's Set Point Controller to "Thermostat" (located in Home Settings->System Settings)
• Create a comfort setting in the ecobee that uses the sensor from the basement only - use occupancy to trigger this
• Place Smart Vents and Pucks/remote sensors in all rooms around your home
The basement will drive the ecobee and the Smart Vents will open and close to maintain the set points you give the rooms.
All the best,
Andrew,, i want to do the EXACT same thing you do. Just got my basement finished. Main floor (non basement) HVAC is also tied to ducts in basement. Ecobee in main floor. I go downstairs, would like he heat to go on, and not heat, the perfectly comfortable first floor. I dont want my vents to just open or close. I need heat pumping through them to be diverted to basement.
How did you end up doing this?
Since I wanted to maintain primary control with my Ecobee on the main floor I added an Ecobee remote sensor in the basement and have it enabled only for the "work" comfort zone i created which is when i'm primarily down here. It's not perfect as the Ecobee is just averaging the lower basement temp with the higher main floor temps but at least the main floor rooms won't overheat due to the flair vents.
We'll see how this goes as winter starts. If it isn't good enough my plan B is to just add an HVAC zone controller and another ecobee in teh basement so i can actually turn on the furnace independently of the main floor in response to the temp in the basement. In that scenario The main floor flair vents would close if the basement ecobee was causing it to get too warm upstairs and once the basement is satisfied it would shut the system off. The only downside (besides the cost) to this method is without adding flair vents in the basement if i had the basement set to 70 and it satisfied and then the main floor called for heat i could end up driving the temp in the basement too warm, but given it's the coldest area of the house i don't see that being a major issue.
In essence we are wanting the same thing. But, i have surrendered control to Flair which controls my ecobee. Im only into this for 2 weeks now. Still learning
I dont let my remote sensors participate in any comfort settings so “no averaging”. Set up rooms in flair app with vents and corresponding vents. One room is “The Basement” and have another 3 Flair Created rooms. If i go in a Flair Created room, the ecobee sensor senses me and turns the room active. This calls for heat if below “Home Set Point”. I have a total of 16 vents, 10 on Main Floor, 6 in basement. If basement “only” is the room needing heat, flair closes most of vents on first floor (1/3) as not to overheat first floor.
Now here is he kicker, i have not actually used this basement setting yet. My basement is being finished and is half done to be completed before XMass. But, have simulated and used one of my larger rooms on first floor as a “sudo” basement. It seems to work how i want it to and will just copy downstairs. The “sudo” room (right now) is 7 degrees colder than room im in right now. The sudo room is inactive. If I walk in there, the ecobee sensor will sense me, flair will turn on the heat, close many vents, where it can, to prevent rooms getting warmer.
Yes that’s a good solution if you’re ok controlling temps from flair... in my case that doesn’t work for me as I want others in the house to be able to use the ecobee.
I initially thought I could set a flair puck to allow me to control the basement temp and turn on the system if need be but apparently that requires giving up ecobee control as well.
I’m pretty sure I’ll just end up with a zone controller and a 2nd ecobee at some point and I might suggest that to you as well.
In my last house when finishing the basement I went that route with some EWC dampers on all the mai floor and basement ducts (like 12 dampers in total) and it worked flawlessly... just like I had a separate hearing system for each floor.
My current house that I just moved to already had the basement finished and it’s a sheet rock ceiling so I have no access to install dampers this leading me to flair.
Hey Andrew! First off,, thanks so much for taking the time to answer me. Let me also say, I am such a Techie! Love it, consume it, take it apart, all encompassing! This, to me, was like Rocket Science!!! So frustrating at first!
So, let me get this straight so I understand. You are installing a Zone Controller without the dampers, (since the house you moved into did not have them). Then, I'm guessing, using flair vents and app to act as dampers/zoning by opening and closing vents. So the Zone Controller will only act as a way to install a 2nd Ecobee in the basement and call for the Cooling/Heating without flair getting involved. Flair would only be in charge of vent control.
As I said before, I'm in the process of getting my basement finished. I have 2 huge trunks in the ceiling of the basement. Obviously in and out. The only way to do a traditional zone in my house was to either add another trunk or add individual dampers per vent including basement. That would of been 16 vents at 100 - 150 a pop. Just could not justify. And it's too late. Sheetrock is starting this week. Was able to pick up 15 flair vents & 2 pucks for peanuts. I know it would somewhat work, but I LOVE your idea,,, that is, if I have it correct.
My upper/2nd floor has the exact same HVAC unit in attic as we do in basement,,,, with two zones and two Ecobee's. So I would just copy that without dampers.
Oh,, last thing. Half my basement has sheetrock ceiling and half drop. I really would only lose access to 1 or 2 vents if I ever needed to do a traditional zone setup.
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