Do you have rooms in your home that are always too hot or too cold? Even when you try to find the perfect setting on your thermostat, these rooms just don’t want to cooperate. Or, maybe you have issues with family members preferring completely different temperatures in the spaces where they spend the most time. For example, your son may like a higher temperature in his bedroom, while your daughter likes to keep her room cooler than the rest of the house. How can you make your whole house comfortable for everyone?
The answer is zoning.
What Is It?
Zoning allows you to set specific temperature settings for individual rooms or “zones” within your home. Individual thermostats are installed for each zone, and dampers within the ductwork of your HVAC system open and close to keep each zone at the appropriate temperature.
What Are The Benefits?
There are quite a few benefits to having a zoned system. First, a zoned system can help you to eliminate hot or cold spots in the house. This is usually a problem that occurs in multi-story homes – hot air rises, so upper stories can be more difficult to cool. Because a single thermostat doesn’t detect the temperature of the whole home, finding a setting that will cool everything in a comfortable manner can lead to higher energy costs. A zoned system helps to eliminate the problem – with two (or more) thermostats, each floor can be cooled independently, leading to overall comfort and more efficient cooling.
Another benefit is that individual rooms can be zoned with their own thermostats. This is a great option for larger families, or for homes that have rooms that aren’t used on a regular basis (like a guest room). Individual thermostats allow family members to keep their space at their preferred temperature, without changing the temperature of the entire home. For unused rooms, the dampers can be turned off, allowing guests to control the temperature when they’re visiting, but home owners to save money when the room isn’t in use.
Overall cost savings is one of the biggest benefits to a zoned system, especially for larger homes. Trying to evenly maintain the temperature in a larger house can pose problems for traditional air conditioners, especially if the home happens to be older. Zoning allows the air conditioner to focus on areas that have problems maintaining temperature, meaning that the whole system isn’t running in an effort to keep everything cool.
How Can I Install A Zoned System?
If you have an existing HVAC system, the best idea is to have a professional come to your home and inspect the system. From there, the technician will ask questions about your current cooling and heating needs, and if there are problem areas in the home. The tech will then offer suggestions on how to best zone the home for maximum comfort, explain the process of installation, and offer pricing information.
Zoning an existing system can be expensive, but the benefits of efficiency and comfort are generally worth the initial investment. With proper use (i.e., not having dramatically different temperatures throughout the home), a zoned system can end up saving homeowners on energy bills due to more even cooling throughout the home.
For those considering new construction, it is best to just go ahead and have a zoned system installed as part of the building process. An HVAC specialist will be able to assist in planning where potential problem areas could be, and what zoning system will work best with how you plan on using the rooms in your new home.
Have questions about a zoned air conditioning system? Give us a call at (205) 871 -8111 or drop us an email.