There are many smart home technologies designed to help you save energy and save money on your home heating and cooling bills. While most people think of WiFi thermostats, such as the Nest smart thermostat, as the best gadget to buy for smart energy savings, more technology companies are looking at the humble vent as the best place to start. Keen and Ecovent have already launched smart vents, and a new company, Linq, is joining the (air)flow.
Linq, and other smart vents, are trying to solve a very common problem in home heating and cooling systems. Standard programmable thermostats are nice because they let you set different temperatures for different times of the day. However, most average-sized homes only have one programmable thermostat, which means the system is adjusting the whole home’s temperature based on the temperature reading in the room with the programmable thermostat. Anyone with a system like that knows it’s not perfect. The result is uneven heating or cooling all over the house, which often results in wasted money (in my own home, I frequently open or close vents manually to try to better control the airflow and temperature).
The Linq smart vent is, as you can guess, a replacement for your standard manual wall or floor airflow vent. What make Linq different is each one includes a wireless temperature sensor which communicates back to the Linq smart home hub. The Hub connects to the Linq app. With the app, you can adjust the desired temperature in specific rooms (rooms with Linq vents) and the vent will open or close to manage the vent’s airflow. Linq can also work in tandem with WiFi thermostat, making the system smarter (Ling offers a starter kit that includes a WiFi thermostat).
One thing that seems possibly problematic is that if the temperature sensor is at the vent (where hot or cool air is flowing, will it be able to accurately regulate the temperature in a large room, especially if the vent is near the ceiling (and hot air rises)?
There’s not a whole lot of information yet on the Linq system, aside from a video on the company’s web site. We don’t know if the Linq hub will also control other devices (motorized shades would be a natural fit), what wireless protocols (such as Zigbee, Z-Wave or Thread) and what WiFi thermostats it works with. A crowdfunding campaign will be launching later.
You can pre-order individual vents for $60 each now (but you need the Linq hub for the system to work) or a starter kit that includes the hub, a smart thermostat (we don’t know which one) and 12 Linq vents for $800.
Read more about smart programmable thermostats here.