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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.

Looking to Buy Your First Home? Look for these 5 Upgrades to Stretch Your Dollar

Buying your first house is both an exciting and daunting process. There are many things that you need to keep in consideration while searching for the perfect new home. Though there are a variety of features on your “need to have list,” there are also some home upgrades that you can look for in a new home that will help you save money in the long run.

Home Upgrades to Save Your Money

Sellers often make upgrades to their house before putting it on the market that help increase the value of the home, but are also attractive to homebuyers because they are money-savers. Here are 5 common home upgrades to look for that will help you save money:

1. New Roofing

Though a brand new roof is not a necessity, if your new home has recently had the roof replaced, this means that you will not have to invest money in the roof any time soon. You might also look out for energy-efficient roofing materials that help you save on cooling costs by reflecting more sunlight and absorbing less heat than standard roofing materials.

2. Energy-Efficient Windows

Another upgrade that can help you saving money on heating and cooling costs is energy-efficient windows. These windows use quality frame materials and special coating that helps reflect light, keeping the heat inside in the winter and outside during the summer. If the home does not have energy-efficient windows, make sure that the insulation is adequate to avoid energy waste that can increase your electricity bills.

3. Energy Saving Appliances

Much of the energy that we use in our homes on a day-to-day basis originates from our appliances. Energy saving appliances can help you reduce energy waste and save as much as $400 a year on utility bills. If your new home does not feature these upgraded appliances, you may consider purchasing them later to help reduce energy costs.

4. Wood Flooring

Most homebuyers want wood flooring because it looks great, and it’s easy to care for. However, there are many other benefits that wood flooring can offer. If you or someone in your family suffers from allergies or asthma, wood flooring may be a better option as it reduces the allergens that get trapped in material like carpet. Also, since homeowners love wood floors, buying a home with wood flooring helps you increase the resale value if you ever put the home on the market.

5. Updated HVAC System

An energy-efficient HVAC system is another home upgrade that can help you save money over time. Not only do upgraded HVAC systems help you cut energy costs, but they can also make it simple and more convenient to maintain a comfortable home environment. In addition to the actual unit, look for a programmable thermostat, adequate insulation, and well-sealed ductwork.

Once you buy your first home, it is important to have your HVAC system regularly maintained in order to prolong the life of the unit. Contact us when you are ready to have your HVAC unit in your new home inspected.