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The Hood Magazine

Don’t Be Afraid to Enter the HVAC Zone

Sep 14, 2020 09:52AM ● By Foley’s Heating & AC, Inc.

Author: Foley’s Heating & AC, Inc.

Air conditioning is among the greatest inventions of all time, along with sliced bread and Post It Notes! In the world of HVAC a somewhat recent evolution, has come in the form of HVAC zoning. The application is life changing in that it can significantly reduce energy costs and more importantly diminish the all too common domestic disputes that arise from ETP (Environmental Temperature Preferences).

HVAC zoning is the management of temperatures in specified areas of your house. In this part of the world we are all too aware of the significant temperature shifts from summer to winter and we also understand the nuances of basement living. In order to more efficiently manage the very noticeable temperature variations between rooms and different levels in houses, zoning is an effective solution. Another benefit of zoning is the better temperature management in homes with vaulted ceilings, open floor plans and areas that are often unused for extended periods of times, i.e. guest rooms or basements.

 The goals of zoning are accomplished with automated dampers within your duct work that control the flow of cooled or heated air and independent thermostats or a central thermostat that works in tandem with area sensors. For a zoned system to make sense and work properly is to make sure the system is one that manages the efficient operation of the blower and the duct dampers. Some systems will utilize bypass ducts and dampers controlled by barometric conditions.

This approach has specific limitations that you should be prepared to discuss with your HVAC professional. Obviously setting up a zoned HVAC system is more easily accomplished if you are building a new home, but it can be established in an existing HVAC system. It is not recommended as a DIY project as it requires intricate calculations and nimble responses, all super powers possessed by your HVAC professional.

The expense is not as significant as you might expect in either environment, new or old, and the annual utility savings of 20% to 40% will pay for the project in short order and no one can put a price on the domestic harmony that is achieved when each occupant can determine the temperature of his or her bedroom.