November 18, 2013 by Grant Clauser
Imagine that you’re sitting in your favorite comfy chair, reading, watching TV or playing Fruit Ninja on your smart phone. You’re alone in the house and feeling a chill (it’s winter, OK, so stay with me).
Instead of grabbing that adorable afghan your grandmother made you, just tap on your smart phone to close the heating vents in the next room so all the heat flows into the room you’re occupying.
That’s the idea behind EcoNet Controls’ Z-Vent. The Z-Vent is a replacement vent for forced air HVAC systems. Built into the Z-Vent is a Z-Wave home automation radio that allows you to wirelessly manage the air flow.
Sometimes it’s just not practicable to turn the temperature up or down on a whole house just because you want to warm one room, especially if you only have one heating zone to cover the whole house.
Review of the Nest smart thermostat.
Not only can you wirelessly control the vents, you can also set them to automatically open or close on a schedule. For example, during the day you can have the vents in the bedrooms closed, thereby saving energy from heating unused rooms. If you configure the vents to work with Z-Wave occupancy sensors, they can be automatically open close when people are present.
Z-Vents are available in standard vent sizes 4” x 10”, 4” x 12”, 6” x 10” and 6” x 12” for $95 each.
If you like saving energy, check out this Holiday Gift Guide for smart energy management products.
If you have a Control4 system, it can now operate your Nest thermostat. Find out more here.
Learn how to save money on home automation expenses.
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Grant Clauser has been covering home electronics for more than 10 years with editorial roles in several consumer and trade magazines. He's done ISF-level damage to hundreds of reviewed products and has had training from THX, the Home Acoustics Alliance, Control4 and Sencore. His latest book is Necessary Myths
. Follow him on Twitter @geclauser.
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