Heating and Cooling on Demand with Zoned Systems
Lately at Horizon Services, we’ve been hearing a lot from consumers who want to upgrade to newer, more energy efficient central heating and air conditioning systems, but have concerns that they’d be wasting a lot of energy and money by heating and cooling the entire home when they really only need to heat and cool a few rooms or one floor or section at a time.
For many years, whole house central heating and cooling was about the only choice consumers had. But today it doesn’t have to be an all or nothing situation thanks to zoned heating and cooling.
Zoned heating and air conditioning systems provide on-demand temperature control where and when you want it. Forget about cooling empty rooms or over-heating one area of your home just to feel comfortable in another.
Zoned heating and air conditioning works a lot like a light switch, turning your home’s HVAC system on and off based on your preferences. Dampers inside your home’s ductwork open and close according to each zone’s individual temperature settings. Once a zone reaches its pre-selected temperature, the appropriate dampers close. This helps save energy and utility costs, and makes your home more comfortable.
So how do you know if zoned heating and air conditioning is right for your home? If there is a lot of variation between temperatures in your home from room to room or from level to level, or if you find that you’re constantly adjusting your thermostat to reach an optimal temperature, a zoning system might be the solution you need. Homes with multiple levels, with a sprawling ranch or multi-wing design, lots of windows, large square footage, or large open areas like spacious foyers or vaulted ceilings can also benefit from zoned heating and cooling.
A zoned heating and air conditioning system can make all areas of your home more comfortable in both winter and summer. You’ll also save energy and money because your heating and cooling system won’t have to work as hard to regulate the temperature inside your house. By adding programmable thermostats, you can save even more.
Just like it doesn’t make sense to have all the lights in your home controlled by a single switch, it seems pretty silly to control your home’s heating and cooling system with a single thermostat. Zoned heating and air conditioning is like installing several temperature controls throughout the rooms of your house—like having multiple light switches to control lights. It lets you turn down the heat in unused rooms during the day or cool bedrooms on an upper level just before bed.
For new home construction, zoning systems are easily integrated into most modern central HVAC systems. You can save money on installation by putting in a zoning system while your contractor still has easy access to ductwork; costs go up significantly once ducts are covered by walls and ceilings. Zoning saves money on utilities, too, making your new home more affordable to live in.
For existing homes, zoned heating and air conditioning can reduce the frustration caused by wild temperature fluctuations from room to room. Even if your ductwork is covered by drywall or plaster, there is such a variety of zoning systems available that chances are good your contractor will be able to match your home with an affordable system. Since most of the installation work will be limited to the area around your furnace—usually found in a mechanical closet, attic, or crawl space—there will be minimal disruption of your daily routine.
What’s more, a new zoning system will pay for itself in a very short time thanks to the savings you’ll see on your monthly utility bills during both heating and air conditioning seasons.
Your Horizon Services Comfort Consultant can provide more information about zoned heating and air conditioning systems and will help you find an option that fits your home, your budget, and your heating and cooling needs.