What is the number one thing that comes to mind, when it comes to feeling at home? Comfort! Comfort is of the utmost importance when it comes to feeling good in your home. Without it, you miss out on a pivotal element of what makes a home, a home. One sure fire way to ensure that your comfort never falls by the wayside again, is to install a smart air flow, room-by-room temperature controlled ventilation system, like Ecovent! We had the wonderful opportunity to speak with Dipul Patel, the CEO and Co-Founder of Ecovent, and this is what he had to say in response to our inquiries about his smart vent system.
Q: When and why did the advent of Ecovent come about? We’d love a little bit of background on Ecovent!
A: In 2008, I wanted to save money for my wedding, so I focused on reducing energy costs in my home by closing vents in the empty guest rooms. One night, my mom was visiting and I forgot to re-open the vents in her room, so even though I was comfortable in the bedroom, she spent a sleepless night shivering in the cold. That’s when the idea for controlling heating and cooling on a room by room basis was born.
In 2012, I left my eight-year career at Lockheed Martin. I was working with the smartest people in the world on everything from missile defense systems to submarine radar, but couldn’t stop thinking about my idea. I enrolled for my MBA at MIT in 2012 where I met my classmate and cofounder Yoel Kelman. Along with two of my former Lockheed coworkers, Nick Lancaster and Shawn Rose, we started Ecovent to help homeowners take control of their home heating and cooling, and finally allow them and their families to be comfortable in their own homes.
Since launching the company, we’ve hit a number of amazing milestones. At CES in January, we were named the Automation Product of the Year and shortly thereafter brought in more than $1.2 Million in pre-orders. With this momentum building, we recently partnered with Emerson Climate Technologies, one of the HVAC industry leaders, who is so excited about our technology that they led our Series A round of funding in July. We now have an amazing team of 23 that are absolutely passionate about helping people take control of their home comfort.
Q: What is the installation process like? Is it capable of being DIY or would a technician have to be present?
A: Installation is dead simple! In each room, homeowners just need to plug a sensor into an outlet and replace their vents with ours. The mobile app guides users step by step through the installation, and all you need is a screwdriver. The system immediately begins calibrating itself by learning the characteristics of the home, like radar for your rooms. The whole installation should take no more than an afternoon and homeowners can immediately begin controlling the temperature in each room, fixing rooms that are typically too hot or too cold.
We designed Ecovent from the ground up to be easy enough for anyone to install, so setting up your system can absolutely be a DIY project.
Q: How does Ecovent monitor the temperature in each room?
A: It’s important to note that understanding the temperature in the room is a lot more complex than just throwing a sensor in there. This is because there are a ton of variables that affect a single temperature reading like the position of the sun and nearby appliances like dishwashers or even TVs. By having sensors not only in the vent, but also plugged into the wall outlet, we sample temperature and other variables in more than one place in a room, and using all of this data, we can determine the actual temperature! If we only took these readings at the vent, they would be almost useless in determining how you feel while sitting on the couch 10 feet away. The sensors feed this real time data into our smart hub, which crunches the information and dynamically controls the vents throughout your HVAC system to automatically adjust the amount of airflow going into each room based on these readings. This ensures that every room is the perfect temperature for your comfort. The more people in a home, the trickier these calculations get as we ensure people with different ideal temperature settings remain comfortable in different rooms. This is where our team’s background in signal processing and radar detection is especially useful.
However, it’s important to note that comfort is impacted by a lot more than just temperature, like humidity and airflow. Ever felt a strong gust of vent air? How about a stuffy room because of stale humid air? With Ecovent, all the unique quirks about your home airflow become problems of the past.
Q: Energy-wise, how much can customers expect to save after installing Ecovent?
A: Ecovent already has systems installed in homes across the country. We’ve chosen a variety of different home sizes and locations to truly test our system.
The results have been spectacular. Our customers have reported energy savings of up to 30 percent on heating and cooling costs! Ecovent really shines when it comes to balancing temperatures across rooms and floors, something that just isn’t possible with only a thermostat. For example, in one of our test homes, Ecovent reduced the temperature difference between floors from 15 degrees to two degrees.
The amount of energy homeowners save depends on where they live and the type of home they have but we’re excited for the results we’ve already seen.