Can I Zone My Heating System

Brent Mccoy
• Monday, 18 January, 2021
• 7 min read

A zoned system can be adjusted for numerous factors, including room usage, personal preferences, and environmental conditions. “If they are individually zoned, unoccupied or rarely used spaces do not have to be heated, and areas of the home that get colder than others can be adjusted directly for greater comfort.

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(Source: store.acpro.com)


Furthermore, programmable thermostats can increase savings by dialing back heating usage when residents are out of the home or sleeping.” A zoned system can also let homeowners minimize the heat in seldom-used areas, such as guest rooms or storage spaces.

Zoning the heatingsystemcan save homeowners up to 30 percent on a typical heating and cooling bill, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Because heating and cooling accounts for more than 40 percent of an average household’s utility costs, the savings from a zoned system can really add up.

“Voltages, the heating /cooling system layout, and features on different thermostats can be geared more towards one or another application.” Adding a zoned heating system to an existing home is a fairly complex project and typically requires the use of a professional installer.

Even though installing a zoned heating system is not a typical do-it-yourself project, the energy savings and temperature control features may make it an extremely worthwhile home improvement. A by-pass is often ducted back into the return air or into non-critical, common conditioned temperature areas such as entryways, hallways, basements, etc.

You can adjust each zone as needed to compensate for sun exposure, high ceilings, occupancy, or any activity that affects room temperature, without overheating or freezing people in the other parts of the house. You'll also notice a quicker rise in temperature, as only one part of the house has to warm up instead of the whole place.

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(Source: www.mybuilder.com)

In this article, we'll introduce each zone heating method, from the simplest to the most complicated, and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each. In the end, we'll offer some tips for saving money on your heating costs, regardless of your zoneheatingsystem.

Put electric space heaters in the rooms you use the most, or use a portable heating unit you can carry with you. This can cause damage to the ducts and furnace, which is calibrated to provide heat through the whole house.

Instead, your furnace will just be required to maintain a very low level of heat throughout the house. Electric heaters cost more to operate per BTU than furnaces fueled by gas or oil; however you will not be heating the whole house, just one room or area at a time, so your overall expenditures will be lowed.

They are easier to install than a duct-and-furnace system, more flexible in their configuration, and far less costly to set up and operate. The basic technology is a heat pump, with a condenser unit that sits outside your house, just like an air conditioner.

Instead, a conduit connects the condenser to one or more wall-mounted air handling units installed inside. A typical split system allows you place one to four air handlers in your home, each providing heating and cooling to a separate zone.

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(Source: www.doityourself.com)

Each handler has a thermostat and fan control that lets you adjust the temperature independently. The other major drawback is that heat pumps are less efficient as the outside temperature drops, and are generally not suitable for cold climates.

A mini-split system requires professional installation, and annual maintenance to ensure optimal output. However, these systems are best equipped to maintaining a comfortable level of even heat throughout an entire building.

If you are keeping the downstairs at a comfortable temperature during the day, then your upstairs level, with all those empty bedrooms, is probably overheated. Similarly, rooms that are always too warm because they have southern exposure, or too cold because they have vaulted ceilings can benefit from zone heating installations.

Work with a reputable contractor to assess your usage and design a system that will best serve your own home. Here are a few tips for saving money on heating, no matter what type of heating system you employ.

Weather strip doors and windows, fill cracks and gaps in the walls and ceiling, and make sure vents and outlets are properly insulated. This will help distribute the hot air that drifts upwards to the rest of the room.

zone dual damper assistance needed testing
(Source: www.askmehelpdesk.com)

You can also shut off the heat in parts of the house you aren’t using and save a lot of money on monthly bills. This provides a tangible advantage over centralized furnaces, which deliver one uniform temperature for the entire house.

The ductless mini-split system makes for easy zone control because each component is an individual heater in and of itself. Instead of using multiple separate units, the technician installs a series of valves and dampers in your duct system at key points.

Controls are added allowing you to open and close the dampers at different points in the system, modifying or shutting off the heat in various sections of the house. Our Puyallup heating system technicians have handled heating issues of all varieties for over 20 years, and our staff has considerable experience upgrading existing systems with zone controls.

In one sense, HVAC zoning has been around since people started heating and cooling indoor spaces. In summer, you only turned on AC window units in rooms where people were sleeping.

But when it comes to zoning central heating and air systems, things get trickier. Larger, newer homes often have multiple systems connected to different ductwork.

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(Source: www.doityourself.com)

Installing dampers inside your ducts is the most common way to add zones to an existing system. Now you're sending cool air back into the return, which makes your evaporator coil get colder.

Even when you're cooling your entire house, the bypass duct will siphon air from the supply. Basically, you'll end up with two zones, but you'll also lose efficiency and put more wear and tear on your equipment.

However, they won't need to add a bypass duct since the equipment sends a smaller volume of air when a zone calls for it. That way, your equipment will be capable of responding to calls from different zones and meeting the cooling or heating load.

A zoned system divides your home into different temperature areas, each controlled by its own thermostat. Which means you can have more control over your home’s temperature and fewer arguments about the perfect thermostat setting.

Once the desired temperature is reached in that zone, the thermostat will alert the dampers to close and stop the air flow. Talking to an HVAC expert can help you determine how many zones your home needs.

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(Source: www.tlc-direct.co.uk)

The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that HVAC system zoning can save homeowners up to 30 percent on a typical heating and cooling bill. That means your system works more efficiently to lower your energy bill.

Zoned systems save energy by allowing homeowners to only heat the part of the home that they need, instead of the whole house. In a zoned system, multiple thermostats control one heating system that selectively distributes heat to different parts of the home.

When both zone valves aren’t calling for heat, the boiler turns off, saving energy. A typical example of this is a home with multiple thermostats that each control their own heating system for a specific part of the house.

You won’t need to replace all of your current thermostats, and they’ll keep controlling your system just like they always have. Each Nest thermostat learns a separate schedule for the zone that it controls.

Your phone's location and Nest product sensor data are used to tell when your home is empty or occupied. You can also set Eco Temperature manually on any of your Nest thermostats to save energy in one part of your home.

Your other Nest thermostats will continue to run their normal temperature schedule to keep you comfortable. Each Heat Link will connect each zone valve, either directly or via a junction box.

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