Avoid Keen vents at all costs *scam*

A simple search will give you hours of reading material on how crappy these things are for a good portion of people, mostly as it pertains to battery life. It seems to be based on hardware batches over time.

Keen support is the worst. I've been going back and forth with Aljone over there for 6 months. Purchased mine around October 2019, and they've been completely worthless since arrival. 2-3 weeks battery life, tops. 3 vents, running long-term testing on various drivers, battery types, and logic to squeeze the most life possible out of these things.

I HIGHLY advise not touching these with a 10ft pole. Better off building your own or finding another brand. Though similar stories exist for many of these automatic vents.

Random snippets from my support with Keen:

  • Started case August 5th, 2020.

"Have you tried different battery brand or using a rechargeable batteries?"

"Thank you for explaining this need within our solutions. We’ve submitted this request as a product enhancement to our product development team. If the team as additional questions, they will contact you directly. Thank you again for such a great evaluation."

"Thanks for writing in and sorry to hear about the vent trouble! If you see it automatically opening and closing to different amounts, it likely got stuck in demo mode. This can happen if the vent's circular black button was accidentally held down while installing it:"

"This is something new to us. Since you are using a third party hub, this is already out of our scope and we are unable to evaluate what's keeping the battery to be drained that fast. You may use your rechargeable batteries instead."

"We have in fact built compatibility for Smart Vents to work with the SmartThings hub. You'll just need to use the SmartThings software to control them, as opposed to our Keen Home App which only works with our Smart Bridge. You'll get a lot of the same functionality between the two apps, though our app/bridge do come with our ecobee right out of the box."

"Yes, it lasts. But some of our customers reported the same problem with Smartthings' hub. The vent's battery gets drained."

"We do apologise for that but we do not have a solution for now because you are using a Hubitat hub. The only advice that I have is to do a hard reset on the smart vent."

Me: "Might I ask -- if I was to pick up your official hub, would that allow me to update firmware or any other maintenance items on the vents? I'm well aware that by using a third-party hub, none of that is possible. Separately, can the vents be updated via USB, or any other method?"

  • **by now I have asked him about 5 times if I can buy a Keen hub and see if that can help, and whether or not this will upgrade the firmware. He says no, it cannot.

"Unfortunately, we cannot push a firmware update via USB or any other method."

"Thank you for explaining this need within our solutions. I escalated this request as a product enhancement to our product development team. If the team as additional questions, they will contact you directly. Thank you again for such a great evaluation."

"Thank you again for your patience while we reviewed your account. We need to escalate this concern to our engineering team."

"So sorry for the delay. We are aware of the problem and are working to resolve it as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience."

"The Keen Home smart hub does not have a battery. As per checking, your case has not been resolved by the development team."

"As much as we would like to help you out, we do greatly apologize that we cannot do any repairs or push a firmware upgrades to your vent. Using a rechargeable batteried should do the trick."

Me: "Heya Aljone,

I do understand that rechargeable batteries are your recommendation. I have used almost every type and brand in these things, and I get roughly the same performance.

I've been chatting with you for nearly 6 months trying to find some solution to this, but it seems Keen has no real response. I really need to get some sort of resolution here, in the form of an RMA, refund, or otherwise correcting this major flaw. These vents are less useful than standard registers at this point, because they can end up blocking airflow when the batteries die.

Could you please give me the contact information for your manager, or escalate this case? I feel that I've been rather reasonable given the cost of this equipment, and the complete lack of any sort of solution to this problem.

Thank you for your time,

-Steven"

Matches my experience. I threw all 4 I owned in the trash in the end. My conscience wouldn't let me stick some other sucker with those things.

They are a great idea, but I just couldn't live with 2 week battery life. And I was not interested in trying to run power to them and convert them away from batteries. Their support was no help at all.

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If they won't give me a refund or RMA, I'm wondering if I can go to my credit card company.

Two things that intrigue me:
1- I get better battery life after moving to the C7 hub, so it very well COULD be related to something on the Hubitat side, but I have no way of knowing, and SOME people have great battery life even on older hubs.
2- There's a network-based (cloud?) integration between the Official Keen Hub, and Ecobee. If this is the case, maybe I could buy the real hub, and somehow tie this stuff together.

My repeated questions to Aljone is whether or not the official hub will resolve my battery issues, or allow for firmware upgrades. His answer is basically, "no, you're screwed." I find that answer unbelievable from support.

Dunno :man_shrugging:. I have blissfully not thought about Keen for more than a few seoncds to answer some posts since tossing mine in the bin.

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I must be the anomaly here. I have 12 keen vents and have had them for over 2 years now. I have experienced zero issues that have been described above. My batteries last about 4 to 5 months. I have them all on a C-7 for 5 months now, issue free.

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Nah, they work for some. But when they DON'T work there isn't any way to fix it.

No amount of factory reset, hub relocation, changing to a different hub vendor will fix it.

So hit or miss.

I had no idea so many people had issues. I just hooked them up and was good to go.

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So is there an alternative that does work reliably?

Not that I know of.

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The only problem I’ve had with my six vents is the magnet came off one side of the cover on one of them. I contacted Keen support and they sent me a whole new unit.

I only have 1 vent in the master bath at the back of the house and it's been solid on both ST and now HE. I need to change batteries every 6-9 months.

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Only other smart vent I know of is Flair. No idea about the company, reliability, any of that. Just that they exist.

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Was an original Flair customer. The initial vents they made were poorly made. Don't know what the situation is like now.

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Unfortunately there are tons of people with the same issue as myself. I really believe it's bad QC or intentionally skimping on some component that makes it drain. Could even be as simple as bad firmware, but they claim there's no way at all to fix it. Even if I buy their hub.

This is the level of dedication I have trying to solve this issue...

Also I've learned that two of the four batteries do not discharge completely. there seems to be some internal resistance, or just bad design in general. Has anyone else seen that?

Love it, hahaha

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That's a ridiculous answer from support.

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Just a "wow" moment. In the wrong way.

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I mean... the only positive takeaway I've got from this is that maybe they will eventually tell me I can buy the cheapo recommended hub to push firmware updates. I would definitely do that. I have offered to support that very option, but each time they've told me there's no such thing as product firmware updates.

(I find that unlikely, but okay.)

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Currently enjoying the conversation with support.

Me: "Since there seems to be zero traction or effort from Keen on resolving this issue, let's just do a refund."

Keen: "Oh, so sorry, now your vents are finally out of warranty, which is why I stopped responding."

Me: "I've been chatting with you on this since a week after I received them..."

Keen: "ummmm"

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