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Author Topic: Zwave air vent  (Read 18548 times)

Offline integlikewhoa

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Re: Zwave air vent
« Reply #30 on: May 27, 2014, 09:19:22 pm »
I'm reading threw this thread and seeing everyone jumping up and down and wagging their tails like never heard or seen a zoned a/c setup before. 

https://www.forwardthinking.honeywell.com/products/zoning/zoning_products.html

I self installed my Honeywell 4 zone system 7 years ago and within the last year changed out my thermostats to Trane Z-wave's to incorporate it into VERA.

To answer some questions. In a zoning system you used a "Pressure Relief Damper" that connects the discharge air to the return/intake air with an adjustable weighted manual vent. So as pressure builds up from zones closed it dumps the air back into the return duct and recycles it threw the blower again (making the cold air even colder and hot air even hotter).

On top of this zoning systems use a discharge air temp sensor on the outlet of the blower to make sure this recycled air after passing threw a few times is not getting to cold or to hot from several passes which could lead to problems.

Sure if your only closing off 1-2 small rooms your probley not going to have a problem, but there is alot of work going into sizing your a/c and duct work. Closing some off might not cause harm but will throw it out of wack a bit.

I'm sure you could PLEG it but there is normally a controller that passes the info from several thermostats to system. It allows multiple zones to fire up the unit, and hand off between each zone without the compressor having to shut down and cycle back up. It also processes the info on how long it takes to heat or cool and zone and sets a priority. 

Offline Dignan17

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Re: Zwave air vent
« Reply #31 on: June 20, 2014, 03:17:59 pm »
Quote
I'm reading threw this thread and seeing everyone jumping up and down and wagging their tails like never heard or seen a zoned a/c setup before. 

https://www.forwardthinking.honeywell.com/products/zoning/zoning_products.html

I self installed my Honeywell 4 zone system 7 years ago and within the last year changed out my thermostats to Trane Z-wave's to incorporate it into VERA.
Good for you. I've heard of zoned systems, but they're pretty expensive and often extremely difficult to install. I, for one, don't have access to almost any of the ducts in my home, as they all disappear after leaving my furnace.

I'm not saying that these Econet are a good solution, though. In fact, they're some of the most marked-up products I've seen in the ZWave world, and that's saying something! I offer, as exhibit A, the Vent-Miser. Look closely. It's obvious that this is the exact same product as the EcoNet vent product, just with a control module that's been gutted and fitted for ZWave control. I'm not saying that isn't worth something, but I don't think it's worth a more than 1000% markup. That's kind of sick.

Offline Pseudomizer

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Re: Zwave air vent
« Reply #32 on: June 20, 2014, 03:20:52 pm »
Wow. That's way above somebody should charge. Thanks for sharing.
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Offline Dignan17

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Re: Zwave air vent
« Reply #33 on: June 20, 2014, 03:26:11 pm »
Wow. That's way above somebody should charge. Thanks for sharing.
No problem! I came across that Vent-Miser first, and then was curious to see if anyone had made a similar ZWave product. Imagine my surprise when I saw the same product for ten times the cost!

And please, everybody, if I'm wrong and this Econet product is a different thing, I'd be happy to be corrected! But you can even see the part where Econet took out the LCD screen, presumably to make room for the ZWave internals.

After searching the forums, it looks like someone else drew the same conclusion back in December.

Offline ServiceXp

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Re: Zwave air vent
« Reply #34 on: June 20, 2014, 06:29:56 pm »
integlikewhoa gave a good overview of what a true zoning system looks like.  HVAC/R is what I do too allow me to buy all these expensive zwave toys so I'll just add a few points...  :P

1) I think in principle it's an innovative idea and I can certainly see a few advantages. Maybe for that troubled room where it's too cold in the summer and just right in the winter.

There are a lot of details to actually zoning a system, that maintains comfort, and performance without jeopardizing the integrity of the equipment. So here is a "rule of thumb" that sometimes works and sometimes not.... Never ever restrict more then 1/8 of the total number of vents in a house (count every single vent), and never restrict them more that 2/3.

A quick way to make sure your system is not being harmed is to record the temperature delta across the heat exchanger (evaporator and or furnace heat exchanger) both in full load cooling and heating. The cooling delta should never exceed 24F. The furnace is a little trickier. You need to find the allowable heat rise for your furnace, typically indicated on the nomenclature plate. You should have 2 numbers, a low and high temp. Your delta during a full demand heating cycle needs to be somewhere in between those numbers.

Now about that return air bypass.. The bypass should be as long as possible, the longer the bypass line the better. This allows the excess cold and hot air to cool or heat up before getting dumped back into the return system, this is very important.  Also, while barometric dampers are "OK", if you want MUCH better regulation, a Honeywell SPC Static Pressure Control with motorized bypass damper is preferred..

Anyway Hope this help a little..
« Last Edit: June 20, 2014, 06:41:36 pm by ServiceXp »
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Offline Dignan17

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Re: Zwave air vent
« Reply #35 on: June 20, 2014, 06:46:09 pm »
Thanks, that was useful information about zoning. I really do like the idea, but I'm afraid it isn't possible for many people due to how their furnaces are placed. Not everyone is able to trace all the trunks of their system, unfortunately. The best I would be able to do is to zone off the top floor but accessing where that trunk hits the attic. But then I don't have a way to get the communication lines back to the basement, and while it's nice to be able to shut off the heat to the top floor in the winter, what I really want is to be able to cool the top floor more than the others in the summer.

How easy is it to retrofit these systems? I have an HVAC company coming out next week to tell me how much they'd charge, which I'm sure will be astronomical...

Offline dzmiller

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Re: Zwave air vent
« Reply #36 on: July 31, 2014, 11:01:20 am »

Good for you. I've heard of zoned systems, but they're pretty expensive and often extremely difficult to install. I, for one, don't have access to almost any of the ducts in my home, as they all disappear after leaving my furnace.


Which is why bigger new homes and major remodels use multiple HVAC units. There should be no surprises with multiple units, especially with the A/C coil  up high in multi story homes.

There are very few homes that would have a problem closing off a duct or two, either manually or with zwave. It is an added incentive to keep the filter clean, however. Perhaps not use the now common more restrictive filters too. The old style filters allow more airflow, especially when dirty. The new style filters create a lot more service calls, especially with AC. Nothing necessarily wrong with the newer filters, they just reduce the margin of error.

And besides, a proper response to dust for a HAS owner is not a restrictive furnace filter, but a robotic vacuum. :)

I think I said this earlier: Using vera to run the furnace fan will often even out temps. Currently I'm running my second floor furnace fan at 5:30 am because the east facing bedrooms get warm with the early sunrise. Running the furnace fan also evens out rooms that warm up with electronics or cooking. Making a vera scene with a timer makes sure the fan goes off without intervention.

The furnace fan solution is often unsatisfactory once a household member is hot or cold. But as a preemptive solution it often works well. It works least well with cold rooms in winter. But changing register flow usually doesn't help much either.

I've built houses with bedrooms over 3.5 car garages. In Chicago, it's best to either heat the garage (to 50f) with a separate wall mounted gas furnace, or provide electric baseboard auxiliary heat in the bedrooms over the cold space. These solutions cost the same or less than a complicated zone setup, and work 100%. Complicated HVAC setups are usually for the benefit of the company doing the work.

Offline Aaron

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Re: Zwave air vent
« Reply #37 on: August 01, 2014, 02:05:30 pm »
My issue is lack of airflow in the upper level rooms. Air handler is in the basement so the main level (middle level) gets about 2x the air flow as the top level.

I'm looking at putting in dampers in the ducts/plenum (not at closing/controlling registers) to restrict airflow to the main level and 'force' more air to flow to the top floor.

Any comments/suggestions on this endeavor?

Offline BulldogLowell

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Re: Zwave air vent
« Reply #38 on: August 02, 2014, 08:02:22 am »
you may benefit more by adding a high static auxiliary blower.

dampening the 1st floor may not help too much

Offline ServiceXp

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Re: Zwave air vent
« Reply #39 on: August 02, 2014, 08:40:14 am »
Anyone contemplating blocking off an entire floor worth of vents really needs to seek the advice of an HVAC professional that has experience in correcting duct system problems.

Decreasing efficiency is bad enough; destroying an 8K+ HVAC system is far worse. :-*
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Offline Dignan17

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Re: Zwave air vent
« Reply #40 on: August 02, 2014, 08:41:41 am »
Anyone contemplating blocking off an entire floor worth of vents really needs to seek the advice of an HVAC professional that has experience in correcting duct system problems.

Decreasing efficiency is bad enough; destroying an 8K+ HVAC system is far worse. :-*
I had an HVAC person look at my system and he said it was perfectly fine for me to block off every single vent in the basement of my house. I guess it depends on the system.

Offline ServiceXp

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Re: Zwave air vent
« Reply #41 on: August 02, 2014, 08:53:49 am »
Anyone contemplating blocking off an entire floor worth of vents really needs to seek the advice of an HVAC professional that has experience in correcting duct system problems.

Decreasing efficiency is bad enough; destroying an 8K+ HVAC system is far worse. :-*
I had an HVAC person look at my system and he said it was perfectly fine for me to block off every single vent in the basement of my house. I guess it depends on the system.
How did he determine it would be fine?

Hopefully he measured the static pressure of the system with all the stated registers closed, and used a flow hood to measure the output of each of the remaing open vents to confirm the remaining total was > ~350 cfm per ton. Anything less fails to meet the requirements of a good confirmation.

And yes of course it depends on the system.
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Offline waynehead99

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Re: Zwave air vent
« Reply #42 on: August 02, 2014, 03:52:52 pm »
I am interested in this topic myself. I bought a newer house that claims to have a higher energy rating and because of this the builder was able to get away with putting in a smaller Hvac system. During the winter there is no issues but when the summer is around the upstairs lacks a lot of cooling and air flow compared to the downstairs. I have setup Vera to cycle the fan throughout the day which has helped a little but the upstairs is never really comfortable without having the AC running a lot and costing lots of money. I have had Hvac people from two different companies come and confirm that the current system is running properly and want to sell me a completely new one. I would really like to explore other options aside from that one as it's expensive and to me seems silly to replace something that still works.

Offline ServiceXp

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Re: Zwave air vent
« Reply #43 on: August 02, 2014, 06:25:58 pm »
Attic temps?
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Offline Aaron

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Re: Zwave air vent
« Reply #44 on: August 02, 2014, 06:54:44 pm »
you may benefit more by adding a high static auxiliary blower.
what is this?
dampening the 1st floor may not help too much
why?


thx for helping me understand
« Last Edit: August 02, 2014, 07:50:49 pm by Aaron »