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The Elements Of A Well-Designed Zoning System

Posted on August 30, 2012

A zoning system allows you to divide your home into separate cooling/heating zones while still using a single air conditioner and furnace. Diverse parts of the house often have different cooling or heating requirements at the same time. A sun-facing room on an upper level needs more A/C in summer than a shaded downstairs den. A family member in the kitchen may be toasty in winter while someone in a room at the far end of the home is chilly. A residential zoning system utilizes motorized dampers to open and close branch ducts that convey conditioned air to separate zones. The dampers respond to signals from dedicated thermostats in each zone. Zoning reduces energy waste from cooling or heating unoccupied areas while ensuring that occupied rooms stay comfortable. Here are some the guidelines your HVAC contractor will follow to design a zoning system for your home:

  1. Do not put different floors in the same zone. Rising hot air inevitably makes upper floors warmer than the ground floor.
  2. Do not mix construction types in the same zone. A recent add-on room with higher levels of insulation and more energy-efficient construction should not be included in a zone consisting of older rooms of the house.
  3. Rooms that have no exterior walls and are relatively unaffected by outside temperature changes should be placed in the same zone.
  4. Locate the dedicated thermostats for a particular zone in the rooms that are most frequently occupied. Do not place the thermostats in hallways or other common areas.
  5. Keep rooms with similar sun exposure or other heat loads together in the same zone. Don’t mix sunny south-facing rooms with shaded rooms on the north side of the house.
  6. Each zone should have a minimum of two return air registers to ensure proper air balance and circulation. Because of placement near or in the floor, return registers may be inadvertently blocked by residents.

Comfort Systems provides Wichita area homeowners first-class service and industry-leading heating and cooling products. Contact us if you’re considering adding the power, efficiency and comfort of a zoning system to your home.

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