An in-depth look at how ecovent makes your home more comfortable while saving money
In the hottest summer months, have you ever noticed how dogs have a knack for finding the coolest spot in your home? In my house, it’s usually on the floor right below the AC vent in the downstairs bathroom. But while dogs are pretty happy lying down anywhere, the rest of us generally prefer the living room and bedroom. Why is it so hard to keep these rooms comfortable when summer heats up? One approach is to simply turn down your thermostat. This makes every room a few degrees cooler, but you’ll still have hot spots while your electric bill soars pumping cool air into rooms you don’t even use. The only way to save money is to keep the entire house hotter and sweat it out. There needs to be a better way.
This summer, ecovent put systems in test homes across the country to demonstrate how it’s possible to turn your existing central air conditioning into a zone-per-room system, keeping every room at the right temperature. Ecovent is a system of wireless sensors and vents that controls your forced-air heat and AC, pumping the right amount of air into each room. This lets you cool the rooms you use most to the perfect temperature, while letting empty rooms get warmer. Our novel control algorithm automatically opens and closes vents based on your preferences and adapts to changes in each room’s temperature.
So how well does it work? Check out these results from one of our test homes just outside of Boston, MA. This home has a third-floor living space, which used to become completely unusable on hot summer days. Meanwhile, the first-floor dining room near the thermostat would end up too cool trying to keep other rooms comfortable.
The plot on the left shows the first- and third-floor rooms before ecovent was installed. On a hot day in early summer (high of 88 degrees), the upstairs living space reaches an unbearable 91 degrees even with the home’s new “smart” thermostat downstairs set to 72 degrees. Over the entire day, the average temperature difference between the first and third floors is more than 16 degrees.
The plot on the right shows the same two rooms after ecovent was installed. On an even hotter day later in the summer (high of 89 degrees), the homeowner sets the third-floor room to 81 degrees (a balance between comfort and energy savings) and the dining room to a pleasant 74 degrees. Ecovent brings the average temperature difference between the floors down to 7 degrees (a 9 degree improvement) and to the exact temperatures set by the homeowner. This unprecedented level of control allows you to dial in the perfect temperature for each room — directing heating and cooling to the rooms you use most and saving money by reducing airflow to the others.
Here is what the beta customer had to report:
“Before I installed ecovent, there was always a 10-15 degree difference between my first floor, where my thermostat is located, and my bedroom on the second floor. With ecovent, the temperature difference is about three degrees. It’s that simple.”
Based on the results of this year’s beta testing, the ecovent team is now perfecting our control algorithm, making the system even smarter, and getting our vents ready for large-scale production. Thanks to raising our seed round of funding from a great group of investors, we’re positioned to get all of those things done and more! And we can’t wait to collect data on how well our test homes perform this winter as we shift into heating season! We’ll keep you updated on progress right here on our blog. The system will be ready to ship in August 2015, and now you can reserve your system today to receive a substantial discount!