Why average temperature?
When Flair is controlling the set point, why does it use the average home temperature and average home set point to determine the smart thermostat set point? It would seem that this would result in most rooms never achieving their local set point goals.
Instead, why does it not at least have the option to use the lowest set point (for cooling mode) and the highest set point (for heating mode). In this way, rooms would simply close their vents when their set point was reached, and the system would stop heating/cooling when the highest/lowest temperature was achieved.
Something like this:
Current temperature 78 degrees, system set to cooling
Room A set to 75 degrees
Room B set to 70 degrees
Room C set to 65 degrees
Flair sets thermostat set point to 65 since Room C has the lowest set point
Room A closes its vents when it reaches 74 degrees
Cooling continues, Room B closes its vents at 69 degrees
Cooling continues, Room C reaches 65, Flair ends the call for cooling, system stops.
If this is not an option, how can I achieve something similar? If I set rooms A & B to inactive so that Room C can achieve its set point, Rooms A & B will remain at 78 degrees and never be cooled.
One last question: when Flair sets a smart thermostat to a temperature, does heating/cooling stop when the thermostat reaches that temperature or when the average temperature (as calculated by Flair) is achieved?
Thanks for your help!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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,
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.
Thanks for communicating directly with us on this forum (as the CEO)! I will be installing my 2 Puck Gateways and 10 Flair Smart Vents when they arrive this week; integrating with my Ecobee thermostat with 5 sensors of its own. My reason for this addition to my system is precisely to provide zoning to my house, not just to AVERAGE it out. I have 10 vents in the air conditioned part of the house and, additionally, a Mini Split in the sunroom which is open to the house. This integration of the mini-split and cooling the hot rooms and not the cool rooms to particular temperatures when I need is why I am VERY ENTHUSIASTICALLY requesting that you add this as a feature if you have not already. Following!!!
Flair Customer Support (Finn) I NEED this as well!!
I'll email support
I'm specifically interested in the answer to the last part of Bob's initial question, which I don't think was answered yet:
"One last question: when Flair sets a smart thermostat to a temperature, does heating/cooling stop when the thermostat reaches that temperature or when the average temperature (as calculated by Flair) is achieved?"
I'm integrated with a Honeywell Smart thermostat and have smart sensors in the same rooms where I have Flair vents. I'm using Flair as the set point controller. The "average temp" setpoint discussion has been very interesting (I'd also prefer a way to take care of the worst room rather than average)...I've been working through figuring out how that works and this discussion has helped.
What I don't understand, though, is after Flair writes a setpoint to my thermostat, what triggers the a/c unit to cycle? Does it continue to use the temp from my Honeywell smart sensor with the priority I set in the Honeywell app? Or is Flair sending the actual average temperature from active rooms to indicate whether the unit should cycle on or off?
Thanks for all the great discussion on this thread!
It sounds like you have to many smart brains trying to control things. While they're smart, they're not that smart. With Flair configured as the set point controller, you're telling Flair that it's the brains of the system and is in charge of when to run the heat/cooling source. Flair does this by setting a setpoint on the thermostat to cause it to run or not. This should be defeating any settings you do in the Honeywell.
There are 2 options when setting up control of the heat/cooling source.
1 - Set it to Flair and let Flair control when the source turns on and off. This can leverage any sensor Flair can read and will use all of Flairs schedules.
2 - Set it to Honeywell. This can leverage any sensor Honeywell can read and will use all of Honeywell's schedules and algorithms.
With option 2, Flair will not control the source, but it will control the vents to restrict rooms from overshooting. It just will not be able to ask for extra source if a room needs it.
Meaning, all of this depends on which brain you want in charge, and how much information that brain has available to it. The consideration of if you want/need Flair to be able to drive turning on the source or just limiting a room based on what's available is a big one. If you had a system with some collection of different heating and cooling sources, combinations of mini splits and other heaters, then making Flair the brains makes lots of sense. Since it can add control over all the different parts. However, with just a single source, and one that already has it's own sensors and smarts, it's a more subtle question.
In my own setup, I have an Ecobee with 2 sensors as the smarts driving the system. The Fair control is to limit rooms to not over heat/cool. One of the Ecobee sensors is in a Flair room the rest are not. This does mean that I need to think about how the Fair and Ecobee schedules are set up. It's possible to configure the Ecobee to try and drive that sensor to a temperature far enough different than the Flair is restricting that it never gets there and the system just runs forever. I only use that sensor in the vacation mode or set to the same temp in both Ecobee and Flair to avoid that. The rest is the Ecobee driving the source based on a sensor in the room that takes the longest to get to temp. The Flair sensors all just restrict rooms to stop changing temp earlier. This works because I want everything at about the same temperature.
Pick which system is the brains based on what outcomes you want to achieve and how those brains can get you there.
Thanks Matt. I'm tracking with what you're saying and get that one or the other system is in control. I set my system up a week ago and have been using it in "Thermostat" mode. That was easy to understand as my a/c functioned as it always has, and I could just monitor that vents were opening and closing based on the settings in the Flair app. Pretty straightforward.
Last night I decided to see how it works if I switched to "Flair in control". I knew when I did this, I was handing the "brains" over to Flair. I had already read the average temperature set for the active rooms was used as the setpoint. I just couldn't quite figure out how it determined if the actual temps in the active rooms indicated the a/c should cut on or cut off. From what your saying, I assume the Flair system will know, for example, the desired setpoint is 73 degrees (average setpoint for active rooms). When the actual average temp rises to a certain level above the desired setpoint, the a/c will turn on (and then off when the actual average temp falls below it). Does that sound right?
In my situation, my primary goal is to keep my bedroom cooler at night (it seems to have the least airflow in the house when all vents are open). I'm probably going to find my best approach is to leave the system in "thermostat" mode, use the Honeywell smart sensor in my bedroom as the master thermostat at night, and set some of the other rooms to "inactive" in the Flair scheduler at bedtime.
Using Flair to limit rooms and just letting the thermostat drive the source is certainly easier to understand how things are working.
Using an average temperature isn't unique to Flair either. From what I can tell, all of the smart thermostats with sensors work this way. All of them use some mechanism to determine which sensors should be included in the determination and then if based on those and the average if the source should be turned on or off.
For my Ecobee, it's part of the schedule. Each schedule needs at least one sensor to drive it, but can also have many and it will average them. For others, the mechanics of this are each unique.
For the Flair, it actually supports much more complex scenarios. A schedule can have a different set point for every sensor, and every sensor can be active or inactive too. My understanding is, if you had 3 sensors, with 2 active and 1 inactive, and set at the same set point, then Flair would average the 2 active to get a value. Based on that value, it would turn the source on or off if needed. However, you don't have to do that. You could have 3 sensors, all active, and all with 3 very different set points. The algorithm needs to do something more complex then. Or, you could make 2 of them inactive. Or another hundred combinations.
If I was you, and just trying to force more air to a room that always lags behind the others, this is what I would do. Set the Honeywell in charge. Use whatever process it supports and one of it's sensors so that it will only use that lagging bedroom to determine if the source should be on or off at that time of day. That room doesn't even need a Flair vent or puck. In all the other rooms that will now overshoot because they get to temp first, add Flair vents and pucks (or whatever sensor Flair can use for the room). Set schedules for all of those rooms to the temp you want each room limited to by time of day. I use a Summer and Winter schedule with different values, and each schedule has different temps by time. This will cause each room to close when it hits the temp first and more air will go to the lagging room. Tweak the schedule temps every few days until you find the right mix and then just flip Summer/Winter schedule twice a year. I wouldn't bother with active/inactive at all. So, in cooling season, just schedule the limiting temp in the other rooms to a high value at night and those vents will close first. Schedule a lower temp during the day and the vents will open back up, or not if they're still at temp until they need something.
Thanks for taking the time to respond, Matt. I agree. That is the most straightforward approach and definitely will work best for me in the evenings when the Master bedroom is really the only room that really matters. It does get a bit more complicated during the day since the rooms that are most active vary day to day. When I purchased the Flair system, I did really dig into how it controls the A/C (just the vents). I had hoped (mistakenly thought) I could set the desired temperature in each room and it would open/close vents and turn the a/c on and off as needed to have something close to room-by-room control (a less expensive way to "simulate" a mini-split in multiple rooms).
Like your Ecobee, my honeywell lets you choose one or more sensors as the control "thermostats" and also averages those selected. So I'm familiar with that as well.
All in all, I'm pleased with the added functionality the flair vents have provided to force more air to my Master bedroom at night without chilling the entire house down lower than I need to! I just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing out on some functionality others had already discovered. Your feedback has been very helpful.
Glad to help.
I think you could configure Flair as the brains, and set up schedules with different temps for every room all the time, and it would try to achieve that.
However, with just one source of temp, I don't think it would work as well as people hope it would work. That's really the root issue for this type of system. It's stuck trying to correct for an installed system with distribution issues and a single source of temperature change. There's only so much it can do. It's unrealistic to expect 2 degree control across every room uniquely. All the worse if the base system underneath it is really bad. We know the system has issues too, otherwise people wouldn't being looking at Flair to begin with.
What might be nice, is a way to configure Flair for what rooms to drive the source based on independent from how each room is individually scheduled. That would let people pick which room to include while averaging instead of using all rooms. While still limiting every room. Right now, using the thermostat for the driving instead, lets people do this.
With this temperature averaging thing these flair vents just don't do what I want. I have to open the app every 20 minutes or so to check the room temperatures and spike the rooms I want to warm up way up to fool it into turning on the furnace, then turn it back down when it's warm. Then do that every time it should cycle back on and off.
So I was just about to package up all the vents and pucks and send them back and get my money refunded when I read about this new comfort+ feature. That you have to request for some reason (maybe it's in beta? still?). So I held off on pulling these out of the ducts, requested comfort+. And the customer service rep said no, she won't let me use it.
Todd mc I have been using Comfort+ for a few weeks, and the developers are still working out kinks. Its since been removed from my system, as they fix it.
Flair has a great product and software, but I'm sure its not easy to get everything perfect the first time. I'm positive they are working as fast as they can to improve the feature. Early technology adopters need to have patience :)
No one else provides the product and system that Flair does - bumps in the road dont bother me.
As a side note, a temporary solution is to schedule "home" and "away" for rooms you don't want in the average. You can then set a minimum temp for away rooms to maintain a relatively good system. But yes, we are waiting for the improved Comfort+ to be released again.
Todd mc You didn't say what the rest of your equipment is.
What smart thermostat are you integrating with?
Does that thermostat also have any remote sensors?
Are you trying to manage very different temperatures between rooms?
Is it rooms that lag on changes or lead on changes that are the problem?
Is there just one or many heat sources?
What are all the components in the base heating system the Flair is being added to?
How does that base system not perform as desired?
Typically, the Flair components are trying to resolve some problem with the underlying system. What those exact problems and the desired resolution is makes a huge difference in how things need to be configured. One of the Flair strengths is that there are many many different ways it can be configured with lots of different combinations of other vendor products. That's also a weakness in that all that flexibility means much more thought and consideration is needed when setting it up. Someone setting up Flair to control a bunch of mini splits for different cooling zones and baseboard heat that's a single zone has very different requirements than someone trying to balance a single zone whole home ducted air system. Which is also different from someone trying to fix a single room that over heats/cools or a single room that never gets to temp with the rest of the house. The system supports all of those use cases, but how it gets there is different.
There's also at least two control systems trying to run things, the Flair and the smart thermostat. Those can be configured to work in concert or the Flair can take complete control. Each of those creates different trade offs, advantages, and capabilities. Neither is better than the other, it depends what the problem is being solved.
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