Over the last couple of years, I have been frequently asked more and more about HVAC control system installation. A zone control system, also known as an AC zoning system, is an HVAC system divided into two or more zones throughout your home. Using multiple thermostats or a single multi zone thermostat, homeowners can set different temperatures for each particular zone. This factor, coupled with multiple electronically controlled HVAC damper equipment, automatically adjust the temperature according the thermostat settings. While a zone control system does not directly affect the efficiency rating of your HVAC equipment, it can help increase the overall efficiency of your HVAC system by only heating and cooling the areas of the home you deem necessary.
Examples of How a Zone Control System Can Increase Your Comfort and Efficiency
- Example 1– If you are like many that prefer to sleep in cold temperatures, a zone control system can allow you the luxury of cooling only a zone containing your room, while not having to cool the rest of your home. The same can be said for those who choose to sleep in higher temperatures throughout the cold months. Because most HVAC systems are singled zoned, many homeowners sacrifice indoor comfort or indoor air quality to prevent higher energy bills.
- Example 2– Another example are homes with skylights in a particular room. Due to the sun coming in through the skylights, these rooms can prove very difficult to keep at a comfortable temperature. If your thermostat is placed within that room, you could be over-cooling other rooms as your thermostat is convinced the entire house is the temperature of the hottest room in your home. With a zone control system that has been installed properly, you have the option to cool the other rooms in your home at a much more modest rate than the room with skylights, or large windows. This in return could lower your energy bills while making your indoor temperature more even throughout your home.
Zone Control System Installation
Most HVAC Contractors will tell you that it is best to install a zone control system when a home is being built. While this may ring true, many homes with existing HVAC systems can be easily converted with the help of a professional heating and cooling company. Each single zone system is comprised of three different fundamental elements.
- Controller– Thermostat
- Outdoor Unit– Air Conditioning Unit, Heat Pump, etc
- Indoor Unit– Air Handler, Furnace, Blower
With a multi zone control system, HVAC installers must configure the ductwork customized to each specific zones and install individual point controls which detect the temperature in a given zone. An HVAC damper or zone damper is installed within the ductwork to help regulate the air flow throughout each zone. These communicate with a multi zone thermostat to make sure each zone is have the proper amount of air distributed.
Is an HVAC Zone Control System Right For Me?
While most homes benefit from a zone control system, some benefit more than others. These homes usually are larger homes that have large windows or natural light in particular rooms. If you are considering an air conditioning installation or a heating installation, we would recommend bringing it up with a professional HVAC installer to see if a zone control system is right for you.