Nest Thermostats—now owned by Google—is known as one of the best and most popular smart thermostats available. However, they are also famous (or, notorious) for being quite picky with integrations to products from other brands.
So, looking for a smart vent product that can integrate with Nest can be quite a daunting task, especially with Nest’s migration to Google Assistant that further complicates the issue.
We’re about to break it all down for you though. Here we’ll review the 2 main contenders for the best smart vent products for Nest Thermostats:
- Keen Smart Vents
- Flair Smart Vents (Takes the win)
We’ll discuss their key features, how they pair with Nest, and each of their advantages (and disadvantages).
Let’s get down to it!
We have to go into this understanding a few things:
- There currently isn’t a smart vent that perfectly integrates with Nest.
- Smart vents can work with any thermostat, but there are more benefits if they can communicate directly.
- These are the 2 best options for smart vents when it comes to Nest.
Note: if you want a thermostat that can integrate directly with your smart vents, you should consider the Ecobee SmartThermostat.
Google bought Nest in 2014. In August, 2019 they ended the “Works with Nest” integration and initiated the “Works with Google Assistant” program. This disrupted Nest Thermostat compatibility with a lot of products.
Keen Smart Vents
Key Features At A Glance
- Room-by-room control capabilities with auto-balancing mode
- Decent battery life (more than 2 years)
- Zigbee (IEEE 802.15.4) protocol
- Seemless third-party integrations with Ecobee, SmartThings, and other products.
- Magnetic front panel design for a more secure and easier installation
- No integration with Google Assistant or Nest
How Keen Smart Vents Work With Nest
Keen use to integrate with Nest Thermostats via the “Works With Nest” integration. However, when Google ended “Works With Nest” and replaced it with the new “Works With Google Assistant” program it ended their compatibility.
So, now Keen Smart Vents cannot communicate with Nest thermostats directly, and Keen hasn’t been added to Google Assistant.
That being said, the smart vents can work independently – opening and closing to restrict or allow airflow in an individual room or multiple rooms. They can do this by reading the sensor in a particular room and adjusting accordingly.
Similar to Flair, Keen smart vents are available in four different sizes:
- 4” x 10”
- 4” x 12”
- 6” x 10
- 6” x 12”
However, as an advantage over Flair, there are trim kits to fit other openings. This expands your options to include:
- 4″ x 14″
- 8″ x 10″
- 8″ x 12″
- 6″ x 14″
- 8″ x 14″
- 10″ x 10″
- 12″ x 12″
There aren’t many vents that aren’t covered as far as sizes go. Here is actually a great video from Keen on measuring your vent openings. This will help you no matter what brand you ultimately decide on.
Pros and Cons
- Magnetic front panel design for a more secure fit, allowing easier installation
- Third-party integration with various smart hubs and smart home appliances
- Easy installation and can easily replace your existing vents
- User-friendly and intuitive Keen Home App
- Room-by-room zoning
- Scheduling option doesn’t allow exact time setting, so it’s sometimes imprecise
- Needs a Keen Smart Bridge to operate a system
- Clunky WiFi connectivity and sometimes produces connection issues
- No integration with your Nest Thermostat of Google Assistant
Keen is one of the pioneers in the smart vent market. Their products have excellent benefits on their own and can help control the temperature in virtually any room of the house.
At the moment, however, we feel that you’ll find Flair’s integration with Google Assistant places it above Keen. You’ll also find that Keen may not as reliable.
Keen is a little bit cheaper when factoring in the cost per room, but the savings just aren’t worth it. In the Flair section, we’ll also show you that they are cheaper if you go with another smart thermostat.
Overall, Keen is a decent option by itself due to its own set of features, but at the moment Flair is a better option.
Flair Smart Vents
- Dedicated room-by-room control.
- Third-party integrations with various smart home systems and appliances including Nest via Google Assistant.
- Integration with remote control window AC Units, mini splits and portable units
- Individual controls for each room, complete with auto-balancing mode.
- Flair Puck-Flair Smart Vent integration to create a truly wireless smart HVAC system
- Double the battery capacity than most other smart vent products
- Hardwire installation is possible, so you wouldn’t need to replace batteries
Flair Smart And Nest
Like Keen, Flair Smart Vents use to integrate with Nest Thermostats via the “Works With Nest” program. When that ended in 2019, Nest hasn’t been able to integrate with many 3rd party devices.
So, Flair cannot communicate with Nest thermostats, but you can control both of them through Google Home or Google Assistant if you’d like.
Does Flair use Google Nest temperature information?
No, Flair cannot access any data (as of the date of this article) from the Nest Thermostat.
How do Flair Smart Vents work with Nest?
Flair will read the temperature in every room you use a smart vent and a Flair Puck (or a compatible smart temperature sensor). It will then open and close the smart vents in each room to help adjust to your desired temperature.
When a vent closes in one room, it will also push more air to other rooms. You can balance the temperatures out so that it will evenly become the desired temperature in the same room as your thermostat, which will then stop airflow until the temperature in that room becomes undesirable again.
Flair smart vents are offered in four different sizes:
- 4” x 10”
- 4” x 12”
- 6” x 10”
- 6” x 12”
While this will generally cover most home installations, make sure you measure your vent openings before making a purchase.
Pros and Cons of Flair Smart Vent
- Very affordable with great overall value. Great set of features and versatile configuration.
- Easy to install with excellent functionalities.
- Great Flair app with an intuitive interface for zone management
- Reliable with great smart automation and room-by-room temperature control.
- Great battery life, and hardwire installation also available
- Can integrate easily with existing HVAC systems (window AC, mini splits, heater, etc) easily
- Could save you up to 30% on your heating and cooling bills
- It still doesn’t integrate with Nest
- Compartment for the battery is made of plastic, not very durable
- Faceplates are only available in white
- There aren’t as many vent size options as you have with Keen
Whether you take into account Nest or not, we recommend Flair over any of the competition.
Our focus in this review is obviously the integration with Google Nest thermostat. With that aside, Flair also offers great integration with various other smart home products and systems like Samsung SmartThings and popular Ecobee thermostats Flair also offers an open API architecture, so it can integrate with any devices if you have the know-how.
Flair has its own thermostat/smart sensor device, dubbed the Flair Puck. This is both a great feature and something extra you have to buy. Even if you already have a Google Nest thermostat you’d still have to purchase at least one Puck. Without a Puck, you won’t be able to operate the Flair system.
If you’re using a Nest thermostat, there’s no way around paying a little more for the Flair Vent setup. The Flair Puck, which is the mandatory thermostat for the Flair system, is more expensive than Keen’s Smart Bridge. You’ll also need one in each room you have a smart vent in to use as a sensor/wireless.
Note: If you use the Ecobee Smart Thermostat, which is the thermostat we’d recommend, it will fully integrate with Flair and you can use their more affordable temperature sensors in place of Pucks for each room. You will only need one Puck no matter how many vents you have setup. This would then make Flair the more cost-effective option.
In our opinion, Flair offers the best product for your Nest. But Keen offers a better overall set of features by itself, so is still worth your attention.
If you want integration with Google Assistant and reliability, then the Flair Smart Vent system is the better overall pick.,