User Guide for the Alea Air App
Welcome to Alea Air app!
Before we get started with the app overview, it’s important to understand how the Alea Air vents communicate with the Alea gateway, Alea cloud and the Alea app.
Alea vents receive instructions in two ways:
1.) Via the Cloud (by way of the Alea gateway)
2. Via the App (direct mobile to vent communication via Bluetooth)
1.) Via the Cloud
Instructions from app > cloud > gateway > vent(s)
The Alea vents ‘check in’ at regular intervals to send their latest collected sensor data to the Alea Cloud via the Alea Gateway (temperature, humidity, air quality, louver position, etc.) and receive any necessary new instructions from the Alea Cloud via the Alea Gateway during this sync (ex. User requested temperature and schedule changes via the app, Alea rule-based adjustments determined in the Cloud, changing weather, etc.)
Alea check-ins typically occur every 10-minutes, so depending upon when a setting change was made in the app, users will likely not see a vent adjustment until the next check in when the vent receives its new instructions.
Example: If a room is currently 70°, the same temperature set on the Alea app, the vent would have gradually closed as it approached that desired temperature. If the user feels the room is too warm, and lowers the temperature ‘cool to’ set point to 68°, these instructions are sent via the Alea app > to the Alea gateway to > the Alea cloud. A user would not see the vent adjust open to allow more air flow into the room until the next check in (which can be anywhere from 1-10 minutes later depending upon the last check in time.
This reason not to have the vents “check in” more often is conserve battery-life.
2.) Via the App
Instructions from app > vent(s) using Bluetooth
For more urgent comfort needs, Alea has direct Bluetooth communication capabilities from the Alea app to the Alea vents.
The Alea app uses Bluetooth to enable users to:
- Bluetooth is initially used to provision and setup the Alea system (the Alea gateway and vents).
Once installed, users can use Bluetooth for immediate connection to a vent:
- ‘Manually adjust’ a vent to a desired position (Closed, 25%, 50%, 75%, Open)
- Set a vent to the default ‘Automatic’ mode from ‘Manual mode’ (Alea vent adjusts based on ‘cool to’ and ‘heat to’ settings)
- Identify’ a vent (Light the Blue LED on a vent) they can do so in the app immediately via Bluetooth (more below in the ‘Vent Settings’ section).
Note: As the app requires Bluetooth for the above instances, you may occasionally encounter a popup error requesting you ‘Check Bluetooth Connection’. Bluetooth on iPhone and Android can be finicky due to the number of bluetooth devices our homes may have running. Please retry your request several moments later if you get this error. You can also toggle on/off your Bluetooth when you see this error to increase connection.
The connection might not be instantaneous and it may take a couple of moments for the vents to respond.
Here is a general overview of the Alea communication process:
Let’s Gets Started | App On Boarding
Create Account / Login Screen:
When you first open the Alea app you will land on the ‘Create Account / Login’ screen.
New user? Head to the ‘Create An Account’ link to get started with your account.
If you’re an existing Alea user, login with your credentials. Tip: Selecting the ‘Remember Me’ box will keep you logged in to your account each time you open the app.
Forgot or want to change your password? Simply tap and follow the instructions to receive your credentials via email.
New Users On Boarding | Add Property and Connect Gateway:
Once you’ve successfully created your Alea account, you will be taken to the ‘Add Property’ screens. Here, users name their property (ex. “My Sweet Home”), enter their property zip/postal code (used by Alea to get local weather data), and select their preference for Celcius or Farenheit temperature readings to be displayed in the app. (These names and preferences can be changed via the ‘Settings’ tab at any time).
Once the Property details are input, the next step in the app is to initiate the gateway connection to the app by selecting the ‘Find Gateway’ button.
With the gateway installed on the user’s home network, the ‘Find Gateway’ button searches to find the connected Alea gateway. When found, the users will see a ‘Success’ Popup indicating the gateway has been found in the property.
To finalize the gateway connection to the app, the user next taps the ‘Connect’ button on the popup. This action finalizes the gateway connection and the user is taken to the next onboarding screen: Add Vents.
You can see a video here of the ‘Add Property’ > ‘Find Gateway’ > ‘Connect’ experience. This step ends when the user is landed on the ‘Add Vents’ screen.
New Users On Boarding | Add Vents:
Once the app is successfully connected to the provisioned Alea gateway, users then move to a room-by-room setup process. To add the first vent to a system, users insert the 4 AA batteries in its sensor module and in the app enter a room name for the vent they wish to connect. This initial vent to app connection and setup communication is done via bluetooth and requires that the user be in close proximity to the vent during this step.
Note: It’s recommended to power and provision the sensor module one at a time as you move from room to room. This reduces the chance of the wrong module being inadvertently connected. For this reason, we strongly suggest installing the vents one-by-one.
New Users On Boarding | Add Vents - ‘Success’
Upon naming the vent and tapping the ‘Connect’ button, users will see a ‘Success!’ popup indicating the vent has been added to the app as intended.
Users can continue adding vents with the tap of the ‘Add Vent’ button, or move to the optional ‘Connect Thermostat’ step next by selecting ‘Done’. (At any time users can add more vents to the system via the ‘Vents’ tab - more in the ‘Vents section).
New Users On Boarding | Add Vents - ‘No Vents Detected’ Error message
When attempting to add a vent to the app, users may encounter a “No Vents Detected” error. Please first ensure the Bluetooth is enabled on your device.
Then retry adding the module being sure to be within close proximity of the module.
New Users On Boarding | Connecting Smart Thermostat
As an optional step, users can connect their smart thermostat to their Alea system.
Alea initially supports integrations with Ecobee, Nest, and Honeywell (Resideo) smart thermostats.
Phase 1.) Current Support:
Ecobee & Honeywell (Resideo):
When a user opts to connect their Ecobee or Honeywell (Resideo) thermostat account to Alea, Alea is authenticated to download the current thermostat set points and/or schedule and populate the ‘Alea Modes’ with users existing preferences for ‘Home, Away, and Sleep’ temperature settings. Alea is also able to display the real-time set points of the central thermostat in the Alea ‘Home Screen’ app.
Nest does not allow third-parties to download the thermostat schedule, but does allow Alea to display the thermostats current temperature in the Alea app.
We are also closely monitoring the termination of the ‘Works with Nest’ program by Google given the concern that this might prevent this access in the future. We will soon also support ‘Works with Google Assistant’ which we hope will bring more third-party integration capability between Nest Home and Alea in the months ahead.
Connect Your Smart Thermostat
To authorize Alea to connect with your smart thermostat, tap your supported thermostat icon and follow the steps to provide Alea with the authorization to connect with your account.
Phase 2.) Winter/Spring 2020
For now, smart thermostat authorization is read-only, meaning Alea cannot make changes to your thermostat set points or request that the system turn on/off to see more or less air delivered across your home to support the individual rooms preferences you have set in your Alea app.
The Alea system does, however, have the foundation in place to enable this in the months ahead. Currently, the thermostat is the only control point for your HVAC system. In the future, users will have the option to allow Alea vents to change the thermostat settings in order to ensure that the system runs as long as necessary (but not any longer than needed) to make your key rooms comfortable.
Let’s Gets Started | Comfort Settings
With the account created, gateway connected, vents added, and smart thermostat connected (optional), it’s time to dive into the comfort setting capabilities of the app.
Setting Temperatures | Understanding ‘Heat to’ and ‘Cool to’ set points
The Alea temperature preferences follow a similar format to most thermostats using ‘Heat to’ and ‘Cool to’ set points.
‘Heat to’ = Never let my room get hotter than X°
‘Cool to’ = Never let my room get cooler than Y°
Throughout the Alea app, users will set these thresholds to their desired preferences.
Setting Temperatures | Modes, Scheduling, & Grouping
The Alea app has three hierarchies for setting temperature preferences:
- Modes - Set whole-home temperature preferences across all vents
- Grouping - Set temperature preferences for multiple vents in a zone/group
- Schedule - Set temperature preferences on vent or room level
For scheduling simplicity, we have created 3 modes: "Home", "Away" and "Sleep" to set your initial preferences for all the Alea vents in your system.
Using the temperature arrow slider, users enter their desired ‘Heat to’ and ‘Cool to’ temperatures for each of the three modes and the desired start and end time for these modes. During a 24 hour day, Alea will always be in one of the Modes set.
The Alea vents in your system will work to adjust to open or close based on these high-level ‘Heat to’ and ‘Cool to’ preferences. Your Alea app comes pre-populated with set points of suggested temperature ‘Heat to’ of 69° F and ‘Cool to’ of 72° F, but these can be adjusted at anytime to better match your homes preferences or season.
Helpful FAQ: Learn How to Edit Modes
Grouping allows you to collectively set and control the behavior of the vents for several rooms at a time. You may wish to group rooms together that are in zones, close proximity, or that have similar occupancy patterns.
- Tap the ‘Add Group’ icon
- Name the Group and select ‘Add Rooms’
- Check mark the rooms to be grouped and select ‘Save’
Users can remove vents from a group at any time in App Settings > Grouping > Select Group > Tap the 'X' next to the room you would like to remove > Save.
If you wish to get more granular with per room or group temperatures, you can do so with Scheduling. As an example, you may wish to have a specific room or group of rooms heated or cooled while the rest of your home is in 'Away' mode. Or, as another example, set rooms that are vacant to more energy-conserving settings.
To set a schedule for a room or grouping, navigate to Settings > Schedule. You will notice that all of the days of the week follow your set 'Modes'.
Select ‘Add Period’ to create a vent or group schedule
Here users will find pulldowns to select the desired mode, start and stop time of the vents settings, the rooms or group of rooms for the schedule, the days of the week for the settings to apply, and the ‘Heat to’ and ‘Cool to’ temperatures for the period.
Select ‘Save’ to create the schedule
Your new schedule will be set in the Alea system and displayed in the Alea app. Note: When a vent is part of a group, users cannot schedule this vent to behave independently from the group.
Let’s Gets Started | App Navigation
The Alea Home Screen:
Each time you open or login to the Alea app, you will land on the Home Screen. Here you will find the high level view of you systems current state, including a list view of all of your rooms and their current temperature readings, the Mode in which the majority of your vents are in, and information about the outdoor weather and health conditions near your home.
Here is an overview of the Home screen features:
Vent Detail Screen:
While on the Home Screen, tapping any of the Rooms will take users to the room’s corresponding ‘Vent Detail’ screen. You can also access the ‘Vent Detail’ screen from the Settings > Vent tab. The ‘Vent Detail’ screen provides users with more information specific to the vent(s) in the room including current temperature, the room’s ‘Heat to’ and ‘Cool to’ set points, the vent louvers position (Closed, 25%, 50%, 75%, Open), humidity, and latest air quality readings.
Users can also access the ‘Hold’ and ‘Resume’ temperature feature direct from this screen which allows users to adjust the slider to a temporary new ‘Heat to’ or ‘Cool to’ set point. When a user makes a temperature change here and selects the ‘Hold’ button, the vent will follow these instructions and deviate from the Mode, Group, or Scheduled settings. It will not go back to its previous settings until the user selects ‘Resume’. This allows users to make temporary comfort adjustments without having to create a new schedule for one-off temperature changes.
Users will also find a shortcut on the ‘Vent Detail’ screen which takes them to the vent’s ‘Vent Settings’ screen.
Vent Settings Screen:
The ‘Vent Settings’ screen provides a view of each vents connection status to confirm the vent sensors are connected to the gateway and checking in. Here users can also edit the room and vent name, use the ‘Identify’ vent button to activate the blue LED on the sensor module to confirm they are engaging the right vent (a nice feature for rooms with multiple vents), manually adjust a vent to closed, 25%, 50%, 75%, and fully open positions, switch a vent from ‘manually adjusted position back to ‘Auto’ (so that the vent returns to following the temperature set points), check the firmware version of the Hub and vent, and delete the vent from the system.
Here is an overview of the ‘Vent Settings’ screen:
App Icon Key:
Alea App FAQs
How do I set up my Property with Alea?
Why do I need to enter my zip/postal code to my Property information?
How do I add multiple properties to my Alea app?
How do I connect my Alea app to the Alea AirHub (gateway)?
Why am I getting a 'Check bluetooth connection error' when trying to connect to the Alea AirHub (Gateway)?
What does 'Mode' mean?
How do I edit 'Modes'?
What are 'Heat to' and 'Cool to' temperature settings?
How does Alea work with my smart thermostat (Nest, Ecobee, Honeywell)?
How do I connect my smart thermostat to Alea?
Why do I get 'No Vents Detected' popup when trying to connect a vent?
What is the vent louver position?
How do I manually adjust a vent to a desired louver position?
What is Grouping?
How do I delete a room from a grouping?
What do the Alea app icons tell me?
How do I understand the Alea Air Quality readings in my home or room?
Where do I change temperature units? (Celcius or Farenheit)
Where to I enable or disable Alea notifications?
Forgot my password?
How do I change my account password?
How do I provide access to the Alea app with others in my home.
What is 'Manual' and 'Auto' mode?
Why does a Vent Status show as disconnected?
Where does Alea get the weather information displayed in the app?
What is Scheduling?