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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    83

    Is the activent really going to save me 30% $$$ per year on energy bills?

    http://www.theactivent.com/save.html

    The above product claims "up to" 30% energy savings per year. Their test data is based on ONE home. Does any professional have any real world experience with this product? Do you recommend it?

    My home has ONE big central air supply and one return, that cools the central great room very well, but the 3 peripheral bedrooms tend to be a little warmer. I probably need to undercut the doors to get some more cooling. My home has 10 vents. At fifty bucks a vent, it adds up. But theoretically I'd only need vents in the Great Room. Once that reaches say 75 degrees F, then the activents would close and then the peripheral rooms would be cooled more.

    Here's why I dont' believe the hype. My thermostat is in the Great Room. Right now it cuts OFF early because the Great room cools down quickly while other rooms remain warmer. If I install the activent, wouldn't it make the HVAC system run longer since the peripheral rooms would receive the balanced of the air, thus making it run a bit longer?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Moore, Oklahoma, United States
    Posts
    4,434
    Looks like a cheesy zoning attempt. The money is much better spent fixing the ductwork.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    winnipeg
    Posts
    1,330
    nope.....
    it was working.... played with it.... now its broke.... whats the going hourly rate for HVAC repair

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Anderson, South Carolina, United States
    Posts
    7,668
    Quote Originally Posted by carmon View Post
    nope.....
    No

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    North Richland Hills, Texas
    Posts
    14,915
    From the sizes, and type of throw, of the ones for sale in their store, it looks like they are only for floor vents.
    If more government is the answer, then it's a really stupid question.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    SW FL
    Posts
    6,376
    I'd anticipate upto about 6% savings.
    Designer Dan
    It's Not Rocket Science, But It is SCIENCE with "Some Art". ___ ___ K EEP I T S IMPLE & S INCERE

    Define the Building Envelope and Perform a Detailed Load Calc: It's ALL About Windows and Make-up Air Requirements. Know Your Equipment Capabilities

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    SW FL
    Posts
    6,376
    Quote Originally Posted by newstudent View Post
    http://www.theactivent.com/save.html

    The above product claims "up to" 30% energy savings per year. Their test data is based on ONE home. Does any professional have any real world experience with this product? Do you recommend it?

    My home has ONE big central air supply and one return, that cools the central great room very well, but the 3 peripheral bedrooms tend to be a little warmer. I probably need to undercut the doors to get some more cooling. My home has 10 vents. At fifty bucks a vent, it adds up.

    Activent
    only recommends 2 [ or 3 Max] for a residence with 10 vents.

    Given a 6'F differential temperature between bedrooms and living area, one might expect to improve it by 2, 3 or 4 degrees.
    Last edited by dan sw fl; 08-29-2012 at 07:09 AM.
    Designer Dan
    It's Not Rocket Science, But It is SCIENCE with "Some Art". ___ ___ K EEP I T S IMPLE & S INCERE

    Define the Building Envelope and Perform a Detailed Load Calc: It's ALL About Windows and Make-up Air Requirements. Know Your Equipment Capabilities

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    68,566
    I'd under cut the doors first.

    You would probably need some of those vents in the other rooms that cool ok now. Since the air that wouldn't be going to the great room anymore will come out the next easiest path, which may not be to those bedrooms.
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    How many times must one fix something before it is fixed?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    6,841
    This is a product specifically designed and marketed to people who think there's a free lunch. For starters, a properly designed and installed system doesn't have the wide temperature variations this products needs to have any affect. Second to that issue is that the current system will perform based on the thermostat location and the resulting air delivered to each room during the heating or cooling cycle. When the room with the t-stat is satisfied, the system shuts down. As a final note, if you have cool rooms relative to other rooms in the house, this is an indication that insufficient Btu's are being introduced to those rooms during each heat cycle. So installing any device to ADD Btu's to the room will increase the fuel consumption/energy bill, not lower it. Thus, energy savings of any type would only be accomplished in rooms that are currently over heating. I will say that I've solved more than one problem using a similar method of a 'non-voting' zone damper installed in a single supply outlet and controlled by a t-stat that can ONLY stop the flow of air at set point but cannot bring on the equipment. In that respect, it does the job of improving comfort but I've never had anyone ever tell me they saved any money/energy with such a set up.
    If YOU want change, YOU have to first change.

    If you are waiting for the 'other guy' to change first, just remember, you're the 'other guy's' other guy. To continue to expect real change when you keep acting the same way as always, is folly. Won't happen. Real change will only happen when a majority of the people change the way they vote!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Keokuk, IA
    Posts
    5,520
    I suppose thsi could help if you have massive imbalance issues and are overconditioning one part of the home to get the other to a comfortable temrpature. You nca also just balancea system with zone dampers.

    A properly size, installed, and balanced systme will have all room within 0.5F other than large swings in solar heat gain if there are a lot of south facing windows or a room with appliances or high occupancy (kitchen, dining room, family room)

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    83
    Is there a system out there that would close vents to large rooms at night like the living rooms and thus redirect heat/cool to bedrooms? I guess the trick is somehow having a second thermostat in the bedrooms, otherwise the bedrooms would get too hot.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX
    Posts
    11,369
    It's a poor man's VAV!

    Your time is better spent evaluating the uncomfortable rooms to find out why they are not receiving or relieving enough air to keep the rooms comfortable.
    • Electricity makes refrigeration happen.
    • Refrigeration makes the HVAC psychrometric process happen.
    • HVAC pyschrometrics is what makes indoor human comfort happen...IF the ducts AND the building envelope cooperate.


    A building is NOT beautiful unless it is also comfortable.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    83
    OK I agree. Let's assume all rooms are fixed so they are always comfortable. Would having someone install some HVAC zone dampers in the living room ducts connected to a programmable timer so they close only at night time only help me save energy? I'd live to have the living room not heated/cooled from 10pm to 6am every night.

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