Zoning your home heating system makes everything more comfortable!
Is your home and heating system the perfect candidate for zoning?
Read here to find out about zoning your home heating system. Get Zoned Out!
ISSUES and COMPLAINTS:
- Single Level– warm kitchen and living room but cold bedrooms? Makes everyone want to hang out in the living room. Where’d the remote go??!!
- Upstairs or 2nd story– hot air rises. And that’s not a bunch of hot air…
- Basement– usually a lot cooler than the rest of the home because it sits right on cement. Cement produces a lot of condensation and makes the rooms uncomfortable. No need for a muggy basement, unless you’re storing food down there.
- Man Cave– yes, we know. Having a cold man cave can be a nuisance.
- Craft Room– cold fingers don’t sew very well.
Most homes that we visit have some sort of issue with even temperatures throughout the home. This causes a lot of headache and additional wear and tear on the system. For instance, if a thermostat is located downstairs but the bedrooms are upstairs, which is where everyone sleeps at night, imagine how uncomfortable the whole home can become! Some homeowners simply turn their thermostat down to 60 degrees to get the upstairs a little more manageable. Now the downstairs is freezing and the upstairs is a little bit better. But still not where it should be. How frustrating! On top of all that, the system is working harder and longer to try and make the home more comfortable.
Shorter life span. Higher utility bills. Still no comfort.
Sounds like a dream vacation!
So, short of packing your bags and going to Hawaii, what is the solution to this age-old problem? Well, first, tell your builder to read this article. Education can go a long way. The second thing you can do is to cry. Cry because you will be amazed at what a simple solution this is. It’s called “zoning”. Zoning your house is a simple solution that has tremendous benefits and long-term impacts on the comfort of your home.
A couple laws that are at work in your home causing some discomfort is the fact that hot air rises. So, any 2 or 3-story home notices this issue a lot more than single level homes. However, there are more basic and unnoticed laws- such as the ability to turn on and off lights in each room throughout your home. Some rooms even have multiple lights! Well, why can’t this happen with your heating and air conditioning system? One control determines the temperature and comfort (or lack of) throughout your entire home! How terrible!
Turning the temperature on and off in each room isn’t entirely necessary, however being able to put your home into “zones” is a much more effective use of your home’s heating system.
Insider Perspective: Most home heating systems are referred to as “furnaces” instead of “comfort systems” because they rarely are designed properly and effective at proving comfort for you.
How It All Works
Some homeowners begin thinking that they need an additional system to take care of the upstairs! In most cases, simply zoning your home heating system can be the perfect solution.
One damper closes while another opens.
An upstairs that is always warm? The majority of the summer that zone would be open and cooling while the downstairs zone would be off. This allows the system, designed for the square footage of the whole house now send all that air directly where it is needed. Sometimes a zone can be small enough that we install a “bypass damper”. The furnace fan motor has no way of decreasing how much air it is pushing through the system so the bypass damper allows the extra air volume (not going through the entire system) to cycle right back through the system. This is a really vital part of a zoning install and can really make the difference. Professional companies install bypass dampers on every zoning application as long as the application allows the space. Many cheaper zoning install jobs are missing this critical component for zoning your house.
Some zoning systems can even monitor the amount of airflow in real time with static pressures and adjust accordingly. These types of system tend to cost more up front but allow the system to last longer. Compensating for dirty air filters is really valuable!
Benefits Of Zoning Your House
Zoning your house allows the heating and air to go to certain parts of your house without going to others. This is achieved through mechanical dampers that communicate with 2 or more thermostats throughout your home. This allows you to have 70 degrees in one zone while having 64 in another! Imagine that! How nice would that be? Most zoning systems can operate up to 4 thermostats right out of the box. And some controls even allow us to expand further for larger and more complex homes.
Not all heating and air systems fit all sizes. Most contractors install equipment based off of the square footage of the home and not based on the layout of the rooms and use of the house. We see a lot of theater rooms that get incredibly warm while homeowners are using it. The tv, all the people crammed into a tiny room. It gets hot real quick. Zoning would allow you to turn just that room on for cooling while the remainder of the home stays off.
More than one zone can be running at the same time too! It just keeps getting better!
Zoning your house is a permanent solution. So no matter what you do with your furnace and air conditioner, it is a one time investment.
Costs Associated With Zoning Your House
Install costs vary (you knew we would say that) based on the extent of work needed. Each separate zone and damper has to be separated onto it’s own run to be controlled separately from the other ductwork. The need for more zones also raises the cost.
For a basic installation with 2 zones, including re-engeering the ducting system, can start around $2800 and go up to $7500 for a more complex system and better thermostat controls.
Might sound like a lot but consider the cost for a whole new heating and air conditioning system with all new ductwork. Zoning tour house is a much cheaper investment in the long run. Plus, your friends will think you have the most comfortable entertainment room in the neighborhood!
- Zoning your house saves energy costs and prolongs the life of your heating and air conditioning system.
- Zoning your home and your heating system is a permanent solution.
- Zoning can be an expensive investment, upfront.
- Zoning your home heating system can drop your energy bill by nearly 30%!
- Zoning your home provides getter comfort and greater control.
- Full customization for your home and your application and use of your house with a zoning system.
Fact is, zoning your home’s heating system should be a no-brainer. Maybe you have never heard of zoning your heating system or home or maybe you were never aware something could be done to take care of this common problem. Either way, seriously consider putting this home improvement item on your list this season!
Also, check this Interactive Energy Score Card for improvements you could make to your system to reduce your utility costs. We found it pretty nifty!
Contact us today to schedule a free estimate! You’d be surprised to find how affordable zoning your house and getting the comfort you deserve can be.