Smart vents are air registers in your home that open and close automatically to promote or impede air flow according to the homeowner’s programmed temperature preferences. A smart vent isn’t your grandma’s air register – it has additional technology built in that allows it to do its job. It will have a smart thermostat to gauge the temperature in the room and adjust it automatically; motion and proximity sensors to determine if there is any movement in the room; and a motor or actuator that will cause the vents to open and close and will redirect the air, if necessary.
A smart vent determines how much air flow is needed in a room to maintain the temperature programmed into the system and adjust that flow accordingly.
Smart vents are of maximum benefit when you have a house without major temperature variations or are looking at controlling the climate of only one or two rooms in your home. Smart vents are also practical when your budget for optimizing your HVAC system is limited and you don’t want to modify your entire system to allow for zoned control.
A zone heating system divides your house into sections – zones – whose temperature is controlled individually. Each zone has its own thermostat or sensor and there are dampers throughout. A zoned system allows you to deliver heat or air-conditioning when and where you need it. Zoned systems can be adjusted for room usage, environmental conditions and personal preferences.
Zone heating is of maximum benefit when you have a large home or one that has temperature variations throughout. They are easiest to install during construction.