An efficient HVAC zoning system can be a great option for heating and cooling in certain homes. If you are curious about how this type of system works and what benefits it can offer you and your home, this article can give you the basics, starting with the features and description of this heating and cooling solution.
What is an HVAC Zoning System?
A zoned heating and cooling solution allows you to heat and cool areas or floors of your home individually, as opposed to your HVAC system working hard to heat or cool the whole house all the time. Traditional methods sometimes result in uneven heating and cooling in some homes. Conversely, a zoning system provides targeted comfort. It requires little to no ductwork and simple, professional installation of a small indoor unit on the wall of the targeted zone. Depending on your home style and size, the number of recommended zones will vary — two, three or more.
Benefits of Zoned Heating and Cooling
The major benefit of zoned heating and cooling is the ability to control the environment in individual areas of your home. That creates additional benefits, described below.
- Ability for homeowners to comfortably control different floors of the home
- Energy cost savings from not allowing the HVAC system to overwork
- Less wear and tear on HVAC components
- Quick and easy installation.
Our expanded blog post here gives even more ways this option could benefit your home.
Here is a good example of zoning system benefits in action. You can sit in your downstairs living room, and keep it cool. Meanwhile, your central air is not struggling to cool every other part of the house at the same time. So all that good air is focused just where you are. By not actively cooling every part of the entire house, you’re saving money as well as making sure your HVAC system isn’t overworking itself.
Is a Zoning System Right For You?
Knowing all the benefits helps, but you have to apply them to your own situation. Objectively, everyone can benefit from some form of zoning, but here are some situations in which you can probably benefit even more so:
- If your primary heat source is from a boiler system
- If your home has little or no ductwork
- If you have a multi-story home
- If you have very high ceilings
- If you have uneven heating and cooling already
- If you have additions built onto the home
- If you have many large windows.
If you have any of these conditions, then a zoning scheme can help you immensely — and maybe even present a cooling option in homes where central air solutions were thought to be unavailable.
What Can You Expect – Pricing and Installation
There are many configurations for zoned heating and cooling and your current HVAC system may dictate what you can or cannot do. How many zones you’ll need is also an important factor. More than two zones may require an upgraded duct system. In general, your system will consist of:
- A control panel
- Multiple thermostats
- Indoor unit(s)
- Outdoor unit.
Mini-split systems and other types of ductless systems are available to give you a non-invasive means of adding zones to your home.
The price of these systems also vary. In general, the purchase and installation of zoned heating and cooling can cost between $3,000 and $6,000. This also depends on the size of your home, how many zones you want, and your contractor. Some of the ductless solutions can ring up a little cheaper, but the same rules apply.
So is an HVAC zoning option right for you and your home? Sure it is, but these systems are not all the same. You should speak to a professional about how best to implement this type of system in your home.
Article provided by Central Heating and Air Conditioning Co.
Author: Stewart Unsdorfer
Bio: Stewart has been in the HVAC business for more than 25 years. He is a state licensed heating and A/C contractor, as well being certified in design, fabrication, layout and installation of forced air heating / cooling systems.