Zone heating is a (relatively) new addition to the very old game of HVAC climate control. In fact, a lot of customers we talk to aren’t even familiar with the concept. We here at Blue Ox think that’s a shame (and not just because we went to all that trouble getting really good at installing zone HVAC systems). Zone heating and cooling is a really, uh, cool way to control the temperature of the house.
Since it’s a relative unknown, we’ve decided to spell out exactly what Zone Heating and Cooling is. Here are three big questions we get when we bring up zone heating and cooling, and how we answer them:
What’s The Appeal?
Think about a typical day in your home. You don’t spend the same amount of time in each room. You and your family probably spend most of your time in just a few rooms in your house. Unless you have a surly teenager, nobody probably spends much time in their bedrooms during the day. If you have an unfinished attic or basement, you probably aren’t hanging around there very often. You might not even set foot in every room in your house every day!
Despite that fact, most heating systems heat every room equally. Part of your heating bill is going towards heating rooms you aren’t using. You could even be heating rooms you don’t want heated!
Not only is this a waste of energy and money, it’s a bit of an inconvenience, too. If you like your bedroom to be cool when you sleep, you have to turn down the thermostat before bed. If your surly teen is still downstairs playing videogames, they’re not going to like that. In fact, their young, hormone-addled body probably runs hot all the time. You have those passive-aggressive wars where you turn up the thermostat only for them to turn it back down. Everyone has different temperature preferences, and as you know, they’re all wrong.
So, what can you do about that? Well, you can probably guess from the title of this blog! With the installation of a zone heating system in your home, you can save money, stop wasting energy, and make sure everyone is exactly as cool or warm as they want to be–all at once.
How Does It Work?
HVAC zone heating and cooling uses electronically controlled dampers installed inside your home’s ductwork. These dampers work like valves, opening and closing to manage air flow into each “zone.” Each one of these zones gets their own thermometers. These thermometers dictate the temperature of only the zone they correspond to.
When you turn up the temperature in a particular zone, you just turn down that zone’s thermostat. It’s the same thing you’d do to turn down the temperature using a conventional system. Instead of telling the whole heater to cool down, however, the zone’s thermometer will instruct the appropriate dampers to open. This lets warm air into the room or zone. When the zone has reached the desired temperature, the damper will close again. That keeps the warm air in the room and driving new warm air into other parts of the house.
You determine which parts of your house you want specific zone control over when you install an HVAC zone heating system. The dampers that make zone heating possible will then be strategically placed by an installation professional to ensure maximum efficiency and effectiveness.
Will It Work For Me?
A zone heating system can save money and granter great control for virtually any kind of home. You should especially consider such a system if you have some rooms that are much hotter or colder than others. This could be caused by things like large windows, high elevation, or lots of natural sunlight. If you’re really struggling with the other members of your household over who gets to determine what temperature the house should be, this is a great solution.
Finally, if you have large parts of your home that you don’t frequently use, such as an unfinished basement, it’s an especially good idea. You shouldn’t have to pay to take care of a room you’re not using! Zone heating not only solves this problem, it recycles the power and heat that would be going to those rooms, using it to heat and re-heat the places you do want heated.
The cost-and-benefit effectiveness of zone heating depends in part the size and type of home you have, and the level of control you wish to exert over the temperature of different parts of it. Generally, the system breaks your home into 2-5 zones, but you can always ask your technician if they can do more. If you’ve ever wanted one room to feel warmer or cooler than another, or you’ve ever spent a night dashing back-and-forth in a thermostat under a blanket, zone heating is something you should consider.
Zone heating is more comfortable and usually more cost-effective than traditional heating systems. Think of it as a means to be more responsible with how you’re using your home’s HVAC system. Get in touch with us today to learn more about zone heating and whether it’s right for you from our certified professionals today. We can guarantee your satisfaction with any zone heating system we install for you, or your money back. Next time that surly teen whines about how hot or cold they are, tell them they can go to their own zone!