With a week of sub-zero temperatures (in Minnesota) we thought it timely to share some thoughts about zoned heating in your home by our guest blogger, Sophia Moore.
Home zoning systems take the comfort of your home to a whole new level and have a wide variety of benefits.
- Helps your home’s HVAC equipment work more accurately
- Keeps the temperature even throughout the entire structure
- Allows different areas to meet different desired temperatures to fit anyone’s needs
- Can also save energy, making the building or home more energy efficient
These are just a few of the benefits of having a home zone system for your duct work or HVAC equipment. But first, lets go over what a home zoning system is. A home zone system works by distributing airflow to designated areas preventing your HVAC from cooling or heating one spot of the house more than the other. For example, if one area to the home is warmer than the other, your zone system will redirect air to the area where air is needed the most. This is achieved in a number of ways, such as installing electronic dampers in your duct work to resist or open air flow, or to mini-split HVAC equipment to handle different parts of the house at different times.
WHAT TYPE OF STRUCTURE BENEFITS BEST FROM HOME ZONING SYSTEMS
Realistically any structure can benefit from such a system, if you’ve ever had a home that seems to condition better in one room or even half of the home you’ve found your solution. Along with many other situations.
MULTIPLE STORY HOMES
Homes or buildings with multiple stories should have a zoning system just because of how they are designed. The higher the floor, the less the efficiency — unless you have the best insulation money can buy, even in those cases zoning systems are sometimes needed. Using a zoning system in this case would primarily be used to direct more airflow to your top floors and help the airflow stay pressurized throughout your extensive duct work to ensure proper airflow.
HOMES WHERE THE AIR HANDLER IS LOCATED ON ONE SIDE
If your air handler is located on the far side of the home, you will usually have trouble getting the ideal air flow at the other end. All of the rooms closest to the air handler will typically have the best airflow because they have the least resistance. A zoning system can help regulate airflow throughout the entire duct work, ensuring optimal performance anywhere in the home.
HOMES WHERE EVERYONE IS COMFORTABLE AT DIFFERENT TEMPERATURES
If you are comfortable at 68 but your spouse is freezing cold at that temperature, you share a very common issue with the majority of other households. And this is also an issue that can be easily helped with a home zoning system, which can ensure that the area you are located in can be one temperature and other areas can maintain a different temperature.
WHAT TO EXPECT WITH A HOME ZONING SYSTEM
Typically the one thing everyone notices about a new home zoning system is that now you have more than one thermostat. After all, two areas of the home cannot maintain different temperatures without something to regulate each temp. And, the most common form of zoned system involved manual or electronic dampers installed inside the duct work to regulate airflow. A professional will be required to install the equipment, as well as diagnose or maintain it.
One thing for sure, is there aren’t many homes or buildings that would not benefit from these zoned systems. They allow every occupant the option to be comfortable with their own setting, and saves energy by allowing the system to be more effective in conditioning the environment without over running.
Maintenance is simple with Home Zoning Systems, too. Most of them operate on typical standard voltage and are controlled by low voltage circuit boards that can tie directly into your air handler, furnace, or thermostat. If your home conditions in one area better than the rest, you are losing energy efficiency because your system has to work harder to get the problem area conditioned. Duct design or condition usually plays a large part in this, and can easily be corrected with a home zoning system from your favorite HVAC provider. So if you like being comfortable and saving money, a zoning system just may be for you.
Editors Note: If you’re in Minnesota and want to explore zoned heat, talk to your builder, remodeler, or the professional heating contractors that are members of the Builders Association of the Twin Cities.
*About the Author: Sophia Moore is an always energized PR coordinator working for over 5 years in HVAC industry with Parker & Sons, Inc – a Phoenix HVAC company in business since 1974: She understands customer and business needs and is focused on providing only relevant and quality information and advice.