If you occupy a home with other people, you’re bound to have encountered a situation where setting the thermostat to what feels comfortable for one person doesn’t suit another. If you live alone, you may have realized your HVAC system doesn’t cool or heat all rooms equally. Among the several solutions for correcting this problem is adding a zoning system.
A zoning system is, in simplest terms, a single HVAC system that’s controlled by several thermostats in multiple zones. Zoned systems can be installed in new homes or added to almost any type of existing HVAC system.
Each room in your home is used in a different way, and each has factors that have an impact on temperature and how comfortable you feel in the room. These include the level of the room, what direction it faces, amount of window area, size of the room, who uses the room and when it’s used.
With a zoned system, you can divide your home into areas that have similar cooling and heating requirements. Each zone can then be controlled with its own thermostat. Motorized dampers receive a signal from the thermostat and control how much heating or cooling flows to each room from the central HVAC system.
Without a zoning system, you may be wasting energy, heating or cooling rooms when they’re unoccupied or when an occupant actually feels uncomfortable with the amount of conditioned air being sent into the room. For instance, if you like a room to be chillier when you’re sleeping, you can raise or lower the thermostat according to the season while cutting back on the conditioned air being sent to the rest of the house.
Zoning systems not only help the home’s occupants feel more comfortable; they also increase savings. There’s less wear and tear on your HVAC system, resulting in fewer breakdowns and less need for maintenance and repairs. Additionally, a zoned system means you don’t have to use more than one HVAC unit to provide differing temperatures, and you can adjust the temperature in one room without having to leave that room to go to the central thermostat to make the adjustment.
A zoned system can improve comfort in any home, but in particular, where these types of architectural features are present: multiple stories, lofts or sun rooms, living space in a basement or attic, homes with a lot of large windows, cathedral ceilings and apartments or rooms above a garage.
As mentioned above, zoning systems work by opening and closing motorized dampers installed in the ducts, sending more or less conditioned air, depending on the setting for the thermostat in each zone. The thermostat sends a signal to the central control panel to turn on cooling, heating or the fan. The conditioned air flows through the dampers only to the zone or zones that need it. Closed dampers prevent conditioned air from flowing into zones where it isn’t needed. Excess conditioned air in some instances may be shunted into hallways or the return area.
Zoning isn’t new technology: it’s been around for more than half a century. It’s a fairly straightforward installation for a trained heating and cooling service professional. The installer should understand duct design and airflow, as well as have basic knowledge of low voltage control wiring.
You can use any kind of thermostat with a zoned system, including a programmable thermostat. A programmable thermostat will increase savings by allowing you to set schedules that provide more or less heating and cooling, depending on if the home’s occupants are getting up, departing for the day, arriving home or sleeping.
To learn more about how a zoning system could benefit your home, as well as McDevitt Air’s heating and cooling solutions, or give us a call at 877-692-9402. We’re proud to serve Savannah and the surrounding area.
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