Hot and cold spots in your home are a fairly common HVAC problem. Factors such as the angle of the sunlight and your home’s design can cause temperatures to fluctuate in certain parts of your house. If you frequently encounter hot and cold spots, you might want to consider installing a zoned HVAC system.
How does this type of system work, and is your home a good candidate for one?
How Does a Zoned HVAC System Differ From a Conventional One?
There are two major classifications of HVAC systems: centralized and localized The former requires ducts to distribute cool air throughout your home, while the latter doesn’t need any because, as the name suggests, it’s localized in a conditioned zone. A zoned HVAC system also uses ductwork to distribute conditioned air, but it has an extra component: motorized dampers. Dampers help regulate airflow and create temperature zones, each with their own thermostat.
What Are the Benefits of Installing a Zoned HVAC System?
Better indoor comfort – If you have a zoned HVAC system installed, there’s no longer a need for anyone to argue over the thermostat settings. The temperature in each room can be adjusted using the dedicated thermostat in that temperature zone. To learn more about the features that can further improve indoor comfort, consult an air conditioner service company.
Lower energy bills– It makes more financial sense to install a zoned HVAC system. Think of it this way: Electricians install a light switch for every room in your home. There’s not a single home in the country that has one central switch that controls all the lightbulbs. If there were any homes with this kind of inefficient design, they’d be impractical and waste a lot of electricity. The same logic applies to HVAC systems. You’re only using certain parts of your home at only given time, so why does your HVAC system need to heat or cool the entire house? In general, a zoned HVAC system can save roughly 30% on your electricity bills.
Lower repair costs – Since your HVAC system doesn’t need to heat or cool your entire house, it suffers less wear and tear. In the long run, this could extend your HVAC system’s lifespan and reduce your repair costs. However, this doesn’t mean you can be complacent about HVAC maintenance—a zoned HVAC system has roughly the same maintenance needs as a standard HVAC system. As a good rule of thumb, you should have an HVAC or air conditioner repair technician inspect and do maintenance on your HVAC system at least twice a year, preferably right before summer and winter.
Is Your Home a Good Candidate for a Zoned HVAC System?
Practically every home can benefit from installing a zoned HVAC system, but there are some that could especially do so. What are the qualities of a good candidate?
Two-story homes with finished basements and attic spaces – The larger a house is, the more electricity its HVAC system will need to consume, and the bigger the potential energy savings from a zoned HVAC system.
Homes with a large number of windows in a single room – Don’t underestimate how much heat from the sun enters your home through the windows. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the heat gained and lost through windows accounts for 25%–30% of residential heating and cooling energy use
Multi-generational homes – Everyone has their own temperature preferences, which is why it’s not uncommon for large families to argue over thermostat settings. If there’s a zoned HVAC system installed in your home, household members can adjust the temperature in every zone according to their preferences, significantly improving indoor comfort.
Of course, a zoned HVAC system isn’t without its disadvantages. For instance, zoned HVAC systems have more complex components. That’s why only experienced air conditioning service technicians should handle their maintenance and installation.
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