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February 8, 2012
Do you have rooms in your home that are too hot or too cold no matter what you do? Installing a zoned heating or cooling system may be the solution to eliminating those frustrating hot and cold spots.
What is Zoning?
Zoning refers to breaking up your home into different areas for purposes of heating or cooling. For example, say your upstairs’ rooms are always much warmer than the downstairs rooms (not uncommon because heat rises), you can install one thermostat upstairs and one downstairs and individually control each zone.
How Does it Work?
You don’t have just one switch that controls every light in your house. In the same way, a zoned heating and cooling system has more than one thermostat so you can control the temperature of each zone separately.
Let’s use our earlier example and say we installed a cooling and heating zone system with two thermostats – one upstairs and another downstairs – and you set both to the same temperature. Your system will kick on and cool the entire house until one of the zones reaches its desired temperature. Once that happens, it will shut off the airflow to that zone using dampers in the ducts, and direct its full attention to the other zone. This results in less energy usage and more even temperature distribution.
Should You Get a Zoned System?
There can be many causes of uneven temperatures in a home. However, hot and cold spots can exist even in the most well sealed systems. If your home has one or more of the following, you may benefit from zoning your cooling or heating system.
- More than one level – Because heat rises, if you only have one central thermostat, your highest levels will be warmer and your lower levels cooler.
- Areas of the home that you don’t want to heat or cool – If you have rooms not in use (e.g. room of child away at college), you can shut off that zone to save energy.
- Areas of the home that require more heating or cooling – Some rooms such a fitness rooms may require more cooling or sun rooms at night may require more heat. No you can be comfortable.
- Vaulted ceilings – If one or more rooms have vaulted ceilings and other rooms don’t, you may experience differing temperatures from uneven airflow.
- Rooms with large glass areas – Glass doors and windows are often the primary culprits that allow your temperature-controlled air to escape. Even high-efficiency windows may not be enough to prevent hot or cold spots.
- Family members comfortable at different temperatures – Sometimes one family member needs a much warmer or cooler temperature than the others enjoy. Installing a zone in that family member’s room allows them to have individual control of their preferred temperature without affecting the rest of the house.
- Ranch-style homes with wings extending off main living area – In homes that extend out from the center, often the long journey of the air through the ducts causes loss of heating in the winter and loss of cooling in the summer. This leaves the center of the home at your desired temperature and the wings either warmer (in the summer) or cooler (in the winter).
Some of today’s most desired home features, such as vaulted ceilings, large windows and multiple levels, make it difficult for your heating and cooling systems to keep each area at a comfortable temperature. By zoning your heating or cooling system, you can eliminate hot and cold spots in your home while conserving energy.
Contact us today to find out how Pippin Brothers can increase your comfort and save you money with a customized zoning system.