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What Is a Zoning System and Do I Need One?

The temperature in many homes fluctuates from one room to the next. Electronics, sunlight, airflow, and more can affect the comfortability in a room. For a long time, people have simply lived with this as an unavoidable part of life with an HVAC system.

What are HVAC Zoning Systems?

Now, there is another option on the market: HVAC zoning systems. These new types of heating and cooling systems allow for precise room-by-room control over temperature. With a zoning system, only rooms that need to be warmed or cooled will be.

Zoning systems put a thermostat in every room or zone. These thermostats control not only the central air conditioner, but also a damper that is set to that zone. When the damper is closed, no hot or cold air is blown into the room.

Increasing Comfort with an HVAC Zoning System

A zoned HVAC system does away with home “thermostat wars,” where family members disagree about what a comfortable temperature for the house is. Zoning systems allow each person to cool or heat their room to the level that is most comfortable to them. Common areas may still be a point of contention, but with a zoning system, every member of a family has a place they can go to be most comfortable.

Zoning systems are also useful for maintaining the temperature in rooms that need to be warmer or cooler than the rest of the house. Keeping a baby’s nursery heated, a gym comfortably cool, or the master bedroom warm are all possible with a zoned heating and cooling system.

Decreasing Costs with an HVAC Zoning System

These new HVAC systems can do more for homeowners than just increasing the comfort of their home, however. A zoning system also can result in dramatically increased energy efficiency. The U.S. Department of Energy predicts homeowners can save as much as 30 percent on heating and cooling costs with a zoning system over a conventional HVAC setup.

This is because of increased control over the temperature in specific rooms. With a traditional HVAC system, every room in the house is being cooled at once, even if some rooms don’t need it. A zoning system allows homeowners to customize airflow for each room, resulting in greater system efficiency.

Should a Homeowner Get an HVAC Zoning System?

If a homeowner is considering replacing the old air-conditioning system with a new one, a zoning system is going to be much more expensive than traditional systems. This is because of increased labor costs associated wiring thermostats, running ducts, installing dampers for each room, etc.

A zoning system in new construction or a home undergoing major renovations typically is not much more expensive than installing a conventional HVAC setup. The exact cost of a zoning system will vary by the number of separate zones on the system, the size of the house, the ease of wiring and running ductwork, and other factors.

Homeowners must decide whether to invest in a zoning HVAC system. In most cases, a zoning system provides numerous benefits over traditional systems and is the better choice unless the increased cost is too high. If you need help making the right decision, contact us, and speak with an experienced HVAC tech who can help explain your options.