Are you experiencing temperature inconsistencies in your house? Are you not sure what to do? The solution may be simple. You may just need to implement temperature zoning in your home.
Temperatures vary from room to room in many residences due to effects like heat rising upstairs from the lower level, daily exposure to sun, or the distance from the central air handler and blower. Personal comfort expectations often conflict, as well. We all know some family members prefer a warmer room while others like to keep it chilly. How do you keep all those diverse spaces and differing preferences comfortable under the same roof with only a single thermostat to make adjustments? A zoning system enables multiple temperature adjustments from a single HVAC system.
Enter the Zone
One solution is installing an additional separate furnace and central A/C. That’s the way comfort control is traditionally managed in spacious homes with large square footage. However, the cost of retrofitting a second HVAC system, as well as the energy expenses to operate it, is substantial and for the average homeowner, often prohibitive. A zoning system allows you to maintain your single existing HVAC system and divide your home into two or more entirely separate temperature zones controlled by independentprogrammable thermostats.
How Zoning Systems Work
In a typical zoning system, motorized dampers installed inside ductwork adjust airflow to branch ducts serving individual zones. These dampers are operated by a central controller that receives input from dedicated thermostat in each zone. When the thermostat in Zone A signals for air conditioning, the controller opens the appropriate dampers and cool air flows to that zone only. If Zone B subsequently needs cooling, the controller opens dampers to that zone, as well.
As each zone independently achieves its thermostat setting, dampers shut to stop the flow of conditioned air into that section of ductwork. When all zones are at the desired temperature, the air conditioner cycles off and all dampers revert to the default open position. In winter, the system functions the same way to distribute heating from the furnace.
Where Zoning Works Best
In split-level homes, zoning helps counteract the tendency of upper floors to be noticeably warmer year-round. New additions or renovations with special temperature needs, like a finished basement that’s naturally chilly, for example, also benefit from individual temperature adjustment, as do rooms with vaulted ceilings that tend to lose heat or window space that admits plentiful solar radiation during the day.
Where the home layout includes wings far from the central A/C or furnace at the end of long spans of ductwork, zoned adjustments …