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July 16, 2019

How an HVAC Zoning System Can Help Your Home

By Rebecca Anderson, FH Air Conditioning

Is your HVAC system heating or cooling every corner of your home effectively? If so, then you can consider yourself fortunate. Many homes tend to have spots or areas that their HVAC units can’t reach. With just one thermostat controlling everything, compensating for those unheated or uncooled spots becomes typically hard to do in an efficient manner.

Much of this has to do with the fact that it’s the thermostat that’s tasked with reading the temperature of a room. Whether or not the system will keep running will depend on the thermostat’s say-so. If it thinks the room is cool or warm enough, it will tell the HVAC system to stop.

The problem is that the temperature in the room where the thermostat is located will always be comfortable and it will base its decision on that temperature. What about in other areas of the home, far from where the thermostat is located? They will be too cold or too warm and there’s nothing comforting about that.

With just one thermostat for your whole HVAC system, it will be close to impossible to keep everyone in all areas of your home cool or warm. You can, however, achieve optimal comfort if you put an HVAC zoning system in place.

The HVAC zoning system, in a nutshell

You can customize heating and cooling in given areas of your home by doing some HVAC zoning. With an HVAC zoning system, you are, in effect, creating comfort zones inside your house. Every single zone will have its own thermostat.

So how does HVAC zoning work then?

A zoning system will essentially regulate the airflow in your air ducts using multiple thermostats, a control panel, and dampers.

All active thermostats will be on standby, detecting the temperature in their specific zones. When one of them reads the temperature in its zone as too hot or too cold, it will signal the control panel to alert the HVAC system. Dampers will then open to let the cool or heated air proceed to the zone that needed it. The dampers will then close once the thermostat in that zone reads the room as having an optimal temperature. Whenever a specific zone requires heating or cooling, this whole process will repeat.

Reasons to put up an HVAC zoning system

Everyone in the household will be comfortable

When an entire house only has one thermostat, you can expect the people there to take turns adjusting the temperature, which, by the way, is a very inefficient way to operate an HVAC system. Those who stay in those areas the HVAC system doesn’t reach properly will tend to set the thermostat to extremes. In the middle of all this are family members who spend much of their time in the main area, which the thermostat tug-of-war will render too cold or too warm.

There will be none of that if you have an HVAC zoning system in place because with the individual thermostats in your preferred zones, you can control the temperature any way you would like. Everyone will be as comfortable as they would like to be any time of day.

Energy savings

Better control of the temperature in each zone is just one of the benefits of HVAC zoning. Without HVAC zoning, your HVAC system will just keep heating or cooling rooms that no one uses most of the time, like the basement. HVAC zoning will prevent that from happening as the thermostat can automatically stop airflow into the basement or any room that’s not in use. That translates to significant energy savings that will eventually be reflected in your next utility bill.

Extended HVAC system life

HVAC zoning makes heating and cooling your home a more efficient operation, and efficiency helps reduce wear and tear on your HVAC system. With less stress, your HVAC system will have a much longer shelf life.

Better indoor air quality

It’s easy to think that the air inside our homes is much cleaner, but it’s always possible for your indoor air quality to be even poorer than that of the air outside. After all, dust, dirt, pollen, pet dander, mold, and various other contaminants are constantly present in indoor air, no doubt assisted by a standard HVAC system in spreading them throughout the house.

Nothing of the sort will happen when you have HVAC zoning. The zones are quite distinct and separate and can be closed or opened at will, and that makes it difficult for dust and other pollutants in one zone to contaminate another. An HVAC zoning system will improve indoor air quality and help reduce cases of skin rashes, asthma, eye irritation, allergic reactions, and other health problems that come with poor air quality inside your home.

HVAC zoning is a good thing. Consider installing one and find out for yourself how it can help your home.