Keen Home Smart Vent review: Keen Home sharpens its formerly dull smart vents

Editor’s Note: Keen Home has released some hardware and firmware updates that have significantly changed the product experience. Our review has been updated to reflect these changes.

A few months ago, I tested Keen Home Smart Vents and gave them a poor review. The terrible connectivity made some of the features virtually untestable, and a design flaw made ceiling installations dangerous. With extensive feedback from users and reviewers, Keen Home continued to work on its product. Now, these $ 80 smart air vents are starting to look cool.

The idea behind Keen’s vents is that you can customize the temperature of individual rooms around your home. If a room tends to get colder in the winter, vents can direct more heat towards it, or if you like your bedroom to be cooler, you can divert warm air away from it. On a grassroots level, Keen performs. If you are interested in smart air vents or have a compatible smart thermostat, Keen Home Vents are definitely worth a look, especially as their features continue to develop.

Setting up

The Keen Home system takes some time to set up, but it’s hard to imagine how anyone could make it that much easier. The real hassle is actually perching on a ladder to install ceiling vents, if you have them, or screwing the fixtures into the wall. Keen has also solved most of the old connectivity issues, so syncing the vents with the hub is a breeze.

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Tyler Lizenby / CNET

In my experience, installation takes 15 to 20 minutes per unit. Depending on how many you install, it could take an hour or an afternoon.

Once setup is complete, using the Keen Home app is intuitive. The app is simplified and now, when connection problems occur with a vent, the app realizes it and automatically displays troubleshooting tips. I like this addition, especially after my original experience with the system which left me confused and exasperated.

Design

Where Keen Vents excels is in design. Now that the ceiling drop problem has been solved, users are left with a minimalist aesthetic that works with almost any furniture. The white bezels magnetically attach to the fan itself, so unlike traditional air vents, you can simply take out the plate to clean the slats or change the batteries.

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Tyler Lizenby / CNET

Even without the faceplate, the vents look smooth. A small LED light embedded in the structure of the vent itself is the main means of communication between the user and the device. And for the most part, its blink patterns are easy to understand: green for “connected”, yellow for “searching for connection”, and so on. But just in case, I found it helpful to have the included translation card handy during setup.

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