What Is An HVAC Zoning System?

what is an hvac zoning system

What is an HVAC Zoning System? An HVAC zoning system is a heating and cooling system that uses dampers in the ductwork to regulate and redirect air to specific areas of a home. A zoned HVAC allows the ability to create customized temperature zones throughout to the home for increased comfort and efficiency.

How Does an HVAC Zoning System Work?

A forced air system uses one thermostat to control both heating and cooling for an entire home. Once you set the thermostat to either heat or cool there is not a way to control the temperature in each room, unless you manually close off the outlet to each room. However, closing each register manually is not only time consuming, but restricts air flow and can lead to early HVAC damage. On the other hand, an HVAC Zoning system consists of 2 or more thermostats placed in different areas of the home and an electronic monitor. This electronic monitor then activates dampers installed in the ductwork to move conditioned air to areas where they are needed the most. The electronic monitor can also be used with wireless thermostats or from a cellphone app.  

What Are the Benefits of A Zoned HVAC?

HVAC zoning is a simple affordable way to gain more control of your current HVAC system without having to an additional system for heating and cooling. The automatic dampers controlled by the electronic monitor allow you to individually control the temperature in separate areas of your home. A zoned HVAC system works best for multi-story homes or when you have rooms or living areas that are hardly used. By creating zones for your home, you can reduce wasted energy from overheating or over-cooling areas not in use and prevent uneven comfort. Furthermore, a zoning system can accommodate any special needs certain areas of the home may have such as construction, windows,or sun exposure. Essentially, zoning systems limit unnecessary over-use of the heating and cooling system which leads to improved energy efficiency and better comfort control. This reduces stress on the HVAC system helping the units work optimally and efficiently, while also preventing costly breakdowns.

Is It Possible to Convert Your Current HVAC System?

It may be possible that your current system can be converted to a zoned HVAC. A zoned system does not work much differently than a forced air HVAC system. To convert your current HVAC system to a zoned system: dampers, control panels and thermostat sensors would need to be installed. The zoned system would be created by installing multiple dampers within the ductwork itself to direct conditioned air to where you need it the most in your home. Varying panels would be in multiple rooms so each room can be individually controlled. The control panels would then operate the thermostat and direct the dampers, so you have control over exactly where the heating and cooling goes.

Is A Zoning System Right For My Home?

Regardless of the size of your home, there will be rooms you use more frequently than others. Upgrading to a zoned HVAC system can help cut down on your energy costs both in the summer and winter. One key symptom that your current system cannot keep up with demands, is huge fluctuations in temperature from one area to the next. Your home can benefit from zoning if you would like more control over the temperature in different areas of your home. Multi-story homes, or homes that have difficult to cool or heat areas are perfect candidates for an HVAC zoning system. These include homes with room additions, rooms with expansive window areas, home offices, or large open areas with vaulted ceilings or lofts. If you have multiple floors or rooms in your home that are rarely used, consider upgrading to a zoned system to stop wasting energy on heating and cooling for unused areas. Keep in mind single stage systems should not be zoned. Single stage systems heat or cool at 100% capacity and the blower runs at full capacity when on. A system that operates at 100% capacity the air has to go somewhere. If one or multiple zones are shut then the excess air will flow through the ones that are open, resulting in too much heated or cooled air in the open zones. This may lead to frequent cycling, mechanical failure, or duct damage from all that airflow. An HVAC Zoning system is best when you are building a new home, or your current HVAC system has plenty of capacity. However, if your current system does not have enough capacity adding an additional system would be best. If your system is always on and still cannot adequately cool and heat your home, have an HVAC technician check your system. It could be simply that your system needs regular maintenance. Nevertheless, it is always best to reach out to an HVAC professional who can inspect your home and system and help you determine the best choice for you and your family.  

Give us a call today at 818-341-3406 or contact us online to learn more about HVAC zoning systems or for a free estimate to upgrade your system to a zoned system. We service Woodland Hills, CA as well as surrounding Los Angeles and can help you make the best choice for you and your home.

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