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Reduce home heating and cooling costs even further with E-Vents

By Shawn Knight ยท 17 replies
Jul 9, 2014
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  1. As you may know, heating and cooling accounts for half of your monthly energy bill on average. And while we've gotten hip to the idea of lowering energy consumption with smart thermostats, that really only addresses part of the issue.

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  2. davislane1

    davislane1 Inquisitor Posts: 4,494   +3,490

    I know squat about heating and air systems, so correct me where I'm wrong. How does opening and closing vents save energy when the A/C unit turns on and off based on the thermostat setting? My point being, if you close an air vent the A/C continues running. And if we're talking about heating/cooling a single room, is it not cheaper still just to use a fan or space heater?

    It seems to me this product is more gimmick than cost saver. Sort of like the steamer mop in the kitchen that theoretically works but actually doesn't.
    SantistaUSA likes this.
  3. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 7,986   +2,876

    I can reduce my costs even further than this thing can by opening and closing windows. It always worked for me in the past. Heating & cooling isn't a big thing for houses in this country because of it's temperate climate.
  4. 9Nails

    9Nails TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,212   +174

    I worry that it might put too much pressure on the duct system or the AC blower. It would be nice if it could signal the AC unit when to turn on or off. But it could be further refined with thermal detection, like look for occupants and heat/cool rooms which are occupied. My life doesn't always fit into a schedule, so some sort of flexibility would be nice.
  5. GhostRyder

    GhostRyder This guy again... Posts: 2,198   +593

    I think it will depend on where the thermostat is located because generally I see Thermostats located in the main room/hallway of houses. If you shut off say the back room's vent then that air is blown out harder on the other vents in the house similar to what happens in a car which hypothetically would cause the room where the thermostat is located to cool down faster.

    That is what I perceive at least based on my understanding of this device.

    I think its cool and would be neat if mixed with an entire smart system setup. I would have to see hard number however of this working before I would be willing to write it off as the greatest thing since sliced bread or whatever.
  6. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,169   +3,261

    Not really a gimmick as it forces more cool air to other rooms cooling them quicker. Thus lowering the temp at the thermostat faster.
    LOL - E-Windows coming next.
    That is a valid concern, but technically so would closing the vents manually. Of course that would rarely happen unless it was meant to be permanent solution. This would allow for a bit of automation, though I wish it wasn't controlled through wireless.
  7. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,509   +2,301

    Shawn, to be perfectly blunt, you should go to bed at night, and not watch so many infomercials. QVC is out as well..

    People in the US have an unfortunate mantra, "the more you spend, the more you save".

    And don't get me started about how much safety features add to the price of your new car.

    Just put the crack pipe down before you try to drive, and leave your stinking iPhone in your pocket while you do. How can you have a, "smart house", or, "smart car", when you have lazy imbeciles driving the cars, and living in the houses?
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2014
    Khanonate likes this.
  8. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,509   +2,301

    That makes more sense than you might think. When the weather is cool enough to keep the house at a reasonable temperature, obviously, opening the windows is the right thing to do. A sensible setting on the A/C would keep it from activating. But, when those thunderstorms come rolling in, look out!:eek:

    So, rain sensing motorized closing mechanisms, would be an ideal solution. I think these already exist in one form or another. Plus, in much of the US, I think you could fudge it a bit, and only install them on the N & W parts of the house.

    So, "power windows" for your house, not a bad idea! I don't think it would be necessary to hook them to the web, so they can dial up the weather report, ponder it for a while, then decide whether or not to shut the windows. Just simple moisture sensors would be sufficient.

    So, while I think the "smart house" is a bit silly or maybe extreme., localized "smart systems", which have nothing to do with the web, or one another, are good ideas.
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  9. I think I would believe in this product if ventilation systems were air tight. If you could completely block off certain runs when not in use it would probably be entirely viable. Realistically this product would work way better at the trunk of the duct work not at the ends of the runs, but there's no easy way to install this kind of equipment at the trunk. No average person is going to take apart their ductwork. If you block off the vent, you're still filling the entire run of duct with air, and it's also escaping from every little crevice in the ductwork. It's not a terribly great way to stop the air to just cover up the vent.

    Here's a novel idea, if you really want to save money on your heating and cooling bills, don't buy this gimmicky nonsense. Instead, install a new higher efficiency furnace and air conditioner. Who knows if these e-vents will actually pay for themselves in terms of savings, but you can bet for sure the more efficient furnace will.
  10. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,509   +2,301

    Ikea sells little "wipe your feet door mats", for a buck Anyway, with floor mounted vents, you just pitch one of these on top of it, and it's blocked.

    Anyway, "Kickstarter" is going to be talking more and more people who get bamboozled easily, into funding more and more, "eCrap".

    At some point I hope to God, people smarten up and realize that not everything is better online, or even has to be hooked up to the internet.

    Another bizarre phenomenon of today, are start-ups that completely ignore any existing laws governing the conduct of their business. "Uber" & "Lyft",. are classic examples. Ask any struggling hack driver how hard and how much it costs to get a taxi license.

    So, if you simply ignore all the rules and go into the taxi business, "look at all the savings you can pass on to consumers". Look at all the people you can try to put out of business while you're at it, who've done nothing but follow the rules.

    Side rant, sorry.

    Anyway, you're absolutely right, newer, high efficiency appliances, will save you a ton more money, than the "eHole du Jour's", bright idea! Even if they're not connected to the internet. Or perhaps, especially if they're not connected to the internet.
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2014
  11. Exactly! Its a common misconception that you get all the air back when you block a vent. All your doing is blocking an excused, causing unnecessary stress on the ducts, and making your system much less efficient. And if you only have one thermostat in the living room, how is it going to help if you block all vents except your master bedroom. The AC will just run all night. The only way to get more air out is to put more air in. If you want to make your AC unit more effective, buy a high efficiency unit and put a return air duct in every room.
  12. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,169   +3,261

    If blocking a few vents causes a loss in airflow, maybe you should add a few more vents. Because obviously you couldn't afford to manually close them either. Besides who said anything about using them on all rooms? It would be silly to use these on rooms that have 24/7 traffic.
  13. I know a little more then squat about HVAC and if you shut off one or two air vents it's no big deal. But if you shut off say half of the vents in your home which most people will do. The more vents you shut the more you save right? When that happens the static pressure in the duct goes up and when that happens the CFM [ cubic feet of air per minute] goes down so less air is delivered to the home which causes over heating of the furnace in the winter and freezing up of the indoor coil in the summer. Think of it as a dirty air filter, the more vents closed the dirtier the filter. Save your money folks, there is nothing to see here.
  14. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 10,432   +801

    LOL; When we had AC installed, we specifically asked for a two zone system - - that's two thermos, two sets of air ducts and servo dampers to control air flow into each zone. The company made a pitch, "oh, no one here uses these things and they're not that effective" - - BS.

    Why heat/cool rooms not occupied? Of course you can run about the house manipulating the vents in each room for yourself; but do you? NAA-- to many and too much effort. With a multiple zone AC you can:
    • Go to the thermo for the zone of interest and change the temp settings OR
    • turn off that zone altogether.
    So just WHY do I need a PC, Internet and an APP??? IMO, that's just like the WiFi monitored power meter monitors installed by the electric company - - too much tech and an invitation for problems.

    That's my $0.02; Jeff
  15. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 10,432   +801

    Not so. Pressure would go up only if there is a blockage in the other duct work. Thermodynamics and the venturi principle says the velocity will increase, but the volume being delivered is constant.
  16. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,509   +2,301

    Which means the same cubic feet of air flows from the unblocked ducts at a much higher speed. Correct me if I'm wrong, but that pumps the same number of BTUs into the now smaller space.

    So, any solution would have to throttle the fan speed, (which in this case is dictating flow volume), to compensate for the lower heating or cooling demands. (Or in your model, different fans for different zones).

    Yes, it's pretty silly to heat or cool an area you're not using. Air space has always been a traditional form of natural insulation, and your basic spare 8' x 10' room, gives you 640 cubic feet of air space.

    And "viva Bernoulli"! Just thought I'd throw that in there.
  17. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,169   +3,261

    Which is where the savings come in, when the unit heats and cools quicker because of less cubic feet demands.
    Possibly throttle back some, but too much could risk damage to the unit. Too little air flow and the unit could either freeze(A/C) or burn up(Heater).
  18. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,509   +2,301

    In very cold weather a heating system should be running almost constantly. It's output shout be just slightly above the anticipated loss. The reason for this is combustion is more efficient when you're trying to ignite something in an already heated chamber. So, obviously heat pump and electric systems don't adhere to this dynamic. Which is also why, BTW, today's internal combustion engines run so hot, and so lean.
    You're already aware I think this wi-fi or whatever you want to call them louver system is an internet scam.

    As far as throttling back a heating system or AC unit, even simple vent less gas heaters have multiple burners. In that case, it should be a simple matter to stage in burners as necessary without any jeopardy of damage overall.

    With AC, multiple units integrated into a case, location, or whatever are not out of the question.

    With that being said, an experienced manufacturer, system designer, and installer working together, would go a lot further than some jacka&&'s internet connected fan boxes.

    And yeah, today's ugly truth is simply this, you have to spend a poop pile of money, to save a little in energy costs. The way things are going, it would be best to start saving young, to insure that you'll live long enough to recoup your investment...:eek:

    Or as we used to say way back in the 60's & 70's, "it's all part of the ripoff"!
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2014

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