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How a Zoning System Improves Energy Efficiency and Home Comfort

If you’ve upgraded to a high-efficiency cooling and/or heating system, or if your systems have performed like a faithful workhorse through the years, there’s one add-on forced-air component that can lighten your home’s cooling and heating load, providing maximum energy savings and home comfort. A zoning system allows you to adjust temperatures independently in different parts (or “zones”) of your house, to accommodate climate differences and occupant preferences.

How a zoning system works

A zoning system is comprised of a network of thermostats that control automatic dampers installed in the duct system. The dampers open and close as needed, diverting cooled or heated air circulation to the zone which requires it in order to maintain that zone’s thermostat temperature.

For instance, imagine it’s nearly bedtime on a warm summer night, and the programmable thermostat controlling temperatures for the second-floor bedrooms activate the duct doors to open. Cool air streams into those rooms and areas. At the same time, perhaps, the automatic duct doors for the unoccupied zone(s) on the ground floor automatically close, as activated by the thermostat in the downstairs zone(s).

This example of a zoning system provides cool air conditioning to the upstairs bedrooms on a warm Northern Virginia summer night, decreasing the cooling load placed on the air conditioner. You save energy, your air conditioner doesn’t need to work as hard, the upstairs zone is cooled to the exact comfort temperatures of the occupants, and everyone gets a peaceful night’s rest.

Is a zoning system right for your home?

Many homes are, by design, difficult to cool and heat evenly. There are a number of environmental factors and design elements that may result in uneven temperatures from room to room and floor to floor. The following home-design and environmental factors are good indicators of homeowners who might benefit from greater comfort and lower energy bills by installing a zoned system:

  • Multi-level homes
  • Sprawling single-level homes
  • Homes with high ceilings
  • Rooms with expansive glass
  • Room additions and/or retrofitted areas
  • Occupants with different temperature preferences

Contact HVAC Unlimited to schedule an appointment with our zoning-system professionals. We’ll evaluate your Northern Virginia home and design a zoned system providing greater comfort and savings.

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