Why average temperature?

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15 comments

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    Andronat Firtyeighth

    Totally agree, average doesn't work when rooms are set too far apart. Flair should make this configurable.

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    Aaron Teitlebaum

    I also agree, now that I have Flair vents in most rooms of my house I would like for it to work more like a zoned system, where each room with a sensor or puck can independently call for heating or cooling if it's not at its setpoint.

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    Daniel Myers

    We have been having some internal conversations around this for a while, namely an option to use an average or catering to the 'worst' room (within reason).   There are lots of different strategies and in some cases, we have seen homes that would work better with one vs the other but at a minimum, some optionality seems warranted.  There are certainly some energy/comfort tradeoffs with these although we think its reasonable to let our customers make those decisions. Sounds like there is quite a bit of interest here (always nice to see when prioritizing our work queue) and we may reach out individually to a few folks here to get some input.  

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    Bob Coyle

    Thanks, Dan, that would be great. I haven't actually received my equipment yet (10 vents and three pucks) since the pucks are backordered but I would be happy to help out with testing, etc. once I receive everything. I expect to be ordering more vents once I get those all set up.

    There are other ways to implement this as I am sure you have discussed, such as being able to specify a room as a Priority in scheduling or from the puck without making other rooms inactive. Basically, it would be saying I want the temperature in that room to be weighted more heavily (or even 100%) in the average calculation. It would be somewhat similar to ecobee's "Comfort Settings" where you can specify which sensors participate in a setting (Home, sleep, etc.).

    Anyway, let me know how I can help. 

    Bob

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    Brian Wuttke

    Totally need this!!! Reach out to me.  I have my whole house 100% done.  Every room has a Flair Vent and Puck.  Not one dumb vent. 

    Total 16 pucks and 24 vents.  Ecobee 4 main thermostat.  

     

    Currently as I type this, this is the temp differences:

    Basement (above ground for the most part): 14C (57F), 16C (61F), 19C (66F), 20C (68F)

    Main floor: 18 (64F), 22 (72F), 22 (72F), 22 (72F), 22 (72F), 24 (75F) 

    Upstairs: 19 (66F), 22 (72F), 23 (73F), 23 (73F), 25 (77F)

     

    That is a difference of 11C (20F) between our coldest room and hottest.  I have tried so many settings to try and get the basement warmer and the upstairs colder.  I was hoping the air circulation mode would help balance the temperature around the house but it didn't.  I even tried manually turning the fan only mode on and opening only the hottest and coldest room vents.  It actually (to my shock) made the coldest rooms colder.  The hotter rooms did slightly cool down after hours of being on.  

     

    FYI I do have an AC system but I have not turned it on yet.  No point in heating the house all morning to then turn on the AC all afternoon.  We also have the issue with this unbalanced temperature situation where when in the afternoon the AC turns on and it ends up cooling down the whole house INCLUDING the basement where the temperature is already too cold.  AC leaks through the Flair vents a little bit.  I have taken the Flair vents in the basement and tin taped all the little air gaps to help prevent the air from getting through.  Years ago I had to remove the the Flair vents and stuff the vents with towels to prevent the air leaking.  

     

    Look forward to hearing from Daniel Myers and the Flair team for the best solutions and testing.

     

    ALSO, FYI I have hard wired ALL the vents and ALL the pucks.  No batteries at all.  I need no energy saving options on my devices.

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    Bob Coyle

    Looks like this discussion is gaining traction :-) 

    Dan, if it helps, I have well over 30 years experience in software development and testing with degrees in CS and ME. I currently teach CS at a local college (mostly Python and Java) and I would be happy to help in any way I can.

    It seems most of your use cases involve trying to even out temperatures in a home but some of us are looking for something closer to zoning (a great market). My own case: my wife wants our bedroom closer to 65 (or lower) while we are sleeping. Currently, we lower the temperature in the entire house to do that and then end up heating the living area back up to a reasonable temperature after we get up in the morning. The vents will definitely help but with averaging, I can't see how we will be able to achieve 65 degrees in the bedroom while maintaining the living area at a comfortable temperature.

    Anyway, I have years of experience in testing in engineering and software development so just let me know how I can help the Flair team.

    Bob

     

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    Matt

    Beyond Average or Worst, a solution that let's a user pick which sensors to include in the calculation without setting those rooms to inactive would give better control too.  And, set them on a schedule not manually.  This way someone could make the bedroom the only room that matters to drive the temp in the morning, all others just limit best they can on their own schedule.  Then, middle of the day, the driving room could be different, automatically changing.  Perhaps they use 2 rooms to average for part of the day.

     

    To the original poster, I solve that problem by using an Ecobee with it's own sensors but having Ecobee not Flair make the decisions.  Assuming I know room C needs the largest change at this time of day and schedule, or is the lagging room, I use an Ecobee sensor in room C and set it as the only participating sensor in the schedule.  The Ecobee will drive temp until room C get's there.  Since that's the most extreme temp, Flair will close the other vents in rooms A and B earlier.

    My Ecobee and it's sensors set the participating rooms to drive the average temp and the schedule for when the heating/cooling source runs.  The Flair vents and pucks just limit individual rooms so they'll stop changing.  This does mean if a room with Flair and no Ecobee is cold, it's not going to call for heat, just leaves the vent open.  Likewise, if that Ecobee sensor isn't in the current participation.  Meaning, I basically set the Ecobee and it's sensors based on the rooms that take the longest with the system running to get to the correct temperature.  This way the system runs long enough.  Flair nicely blocks off the other rooms as they get to their destination earlier.

    At the end of the day, there's still just a single source of temp.  Everything else is just working with that.

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    Bob Coyle

    Hi Matt,

    Yes, I've read some of your previous posts (which are excellent, btw) and agree that I can make something work using Ecobee and it's sensors. But it seems a shame to have to 'kluge' the system when Flair could run the Ecobee and do it all much easier with just the Flair app. Flair can read the Ecobee sensors and its own pucks and control the Ecobee itself.

    Either an option to use the lowest set point (for cooling mode) and the highest set point (for heating mode) and/or letting a user pick which sensors to include in the calculation without setting those rooms to Inactive (or both options) would be great. Then, users could just use the Flair app to do everything.

    Bob

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    Matt

    Agree, if Flair wants to be the system in control, it needs to handle that control better.

    I only integrated my Ecobee with Flair recently, to use the Enhanced circulation option when running the fan only.  In the swing season here, with no heating or cooling I needed the mixing and the vents were not opening/closing for that.  Since I had them configured just to limit.  The room temp air isn't enough to trigger a heating/cooling change in Auto mode.  There's no way to turn circulation mode on and have the vents figure it out, they need the knowledge from the Ecobee that the fan is running.  In the process, Flair tried to take over control away from the Ecobee several times as I was setting it up before I got all the toggles updated, and then I had to go fix the mode and holds on the Ecobee from where they were adjusted.

    Basically, I'm now using the integration to allow Enhanced circulation, but I'm still using the Ecobee as the brains behind the temperature source.  I'm not ready to make Flair the overall brains.  From other posts, and the product descriptions, Flair looks like it's a better brain when there are lots of different temperature sources, the many mini split scenarios.

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    Flair Customer Support

    Hi Matt,

    Yes, Flair has to be the Set Point Controller to use Enhanced Circulation. I'll put in a request to see if we can enable EH for when the smart thermostat is in control. No guarantees when/if this will happen, but I'll create a formal request to track it.

    All the best,

    Finn

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    Matt

    Finn,

    That doesn't sound correct.  Under System Settings, I have Thermostat set as the Set Point Controller.  Under Thermostats, I have the Ecobee and the Enhanced Circulation Mode set to All Vents.

    This seems to be working.  At least all the vents report open for open for airflow and the Ecobee is set to run the fan 30 minutes every hour.  We haven't had a very hot or cold day since I changed to this set up, so there hasn't been a need for the vents to close and limit room temp.  Maybe once, and I thought they closed correctly.  I'll know for sure in another month when cooling season really starts.

    Prior to changing, I did not have the Ecobee integrated at all, but just set as an "unsupported" dumb thermostat.  That not integrated mode is where the Enhanced Circulation was not available.  The vents could tell there was a temp change vs the room, but it wasn't very large since it was just moving air and not actively heating or cooling.  In that not integrated mode, they couldn't use Enhanced Circulation by guessing that the fan only was running based on the air pressure and smaller temp difference.  That would have been nice, and I wouldn't have bothered setting up the Ecobee integration at all then.

    It seems this is the current grid:

    Ecobee Integrated - Flair Controller - Circulation available.

    Ecobee Integrated - Ecobee Controller - Circulation available.

    Ecobee NOT Integrated/Unsupported thermostat - Thermostat Controller - Circulation NOT available.

     

    The last one would require the vents to guess at when the fan and no heat/cooling was running.  That's the "nice to have" one.

    Beyond that, the only small complaint was in the process of setting up the Ecobee integration the Flair was aggressive at wanting to be the controller and set modes and set points.  Once I completed settings in Flair and then set the Ecobee back to the prior values, it's all be fine.

    Overall, I've been very happy with the Flair vents limiting rooms that over heat/cool.  In my case, I don't need Flair to drive the system, just limit specific rooms.  I should probably buy 1 or 2 more pucks to break the basement into 2 or 3 rooms instead of one big space.

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    Flair Customer Support

    Hi Matt,

    I see you're right. I misunderstood.

    All the best,
    Finn

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    Ben3060

    Catering to the worst room would be a huge improvement.  Due to the averages I have to use my own setpoint and over time have figured it out but, averages just don't work properly.

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    Daniel Myers

    We are doing a bit of work on how Flair integrates with Smart thermostats right now but we are actively discussing this internally and have a few ideas we have mocked up.  I can't give any sort of hard delivery timeline but definitely something we would like to take on this summer.

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    Andrew Wrzesinski

    I would also be interested in this. the only regret that I had from switching from Honeywell zoning system

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