Zoned heating and cooling systems allow you to control the temperature of each room individually. By using a series of motorized dampers and thermostats that work independently, zoning can eliminate hot or cold rooms found in almost every home, while cutting energy by up to 25 percent.
It is very difficult to keep an entire house at a consistent temperature without zoning. Warm air rises while cold air sinks, leaving upstairs rooms six to ten degrees warmer. A single thermostat keeps the temperature balanced in the room where it is located, but can’t tell if the temperature has changed in other rooms of the house. Zoning helps maintain a consistent temperature throughout the house by providing different levels of air distribution to different areas of a house.
Zone controlled systems divide a home into areas with common heating and cooling needs during specific parts of the day. Air flow is controlled in each area by a separate thermostat. Instead of sending the same amount of heated or cooled air into all room every time the furnace or air conditioner is turned on, the system sends conditioned air only to the zones that need it. Temperatures can be kept at an ideal comfort level when the family is up and about, then changed to an energy-saving temperature overnight or when the family is away.
For example, in a typical two-story house, the main floor with the living room, kitchen and dining area, is usually occupied during the evenings. Bedrooms are occupied mostly in the morning and at night. With zoning, you can cool or heat one area of the house at a time. You can also select different temperature settings for each zone of the house. In most homes, a two or three zone system is sufficient. Rarely does a home require more than three zones.
Most homes can be zoned according to room occupancy, but unique exposure factors may require a different zoning strategy. A room with large amounts of glass facing south or west will have much higher temperatures than other rooms in the home. The solution would be a separate zone for that room alone.
At an average price of $1,200, zone control systems provide a cost efficient alternative to dual air systems that require separate air conditioners and furnaces for different areas of the house.
Zone control is especially effective in homes that have multiple levels, large glass windows, or large open areas such as an atrium or solarium. Existing homes are also good candidates for zoning. Almost all forced air systems can be converted for zone control. A control panel, thermostats, dampers and the correct duct work are all it takes.
Ask us about how Zoning can help your families comfort level as well as save energy.