Learn the Pros and Cons of Having an HVAC Zoning System

HVAC zoning is a viable option to make indoor comfort more suited to the varied living spaces in your home. A typical single-zone system operated by one thermostat provides the same volume of cooled or heated air at the same temperature to all rooms in a house while the system’s running. Often, however, every room doesn’t need conditioned air — and not all rooms want the same temperature. That’s where HVAC zoning provides more alternatives.

A zoning system converts the traditional single-zone approach into two or more separately controlled independent temperature zones, without adding additional air conditioner and furnace units. Electrically operated dampers installed inside your existing ductwork create separate airflow zones. The dampers are operated by a central controller that receives signals from independent thermostats in each zone. In response to each thermostat setting, the controller opens and closes dampers to allow or restrict conditioned airflow to individual zones, keeping multiple zones comfortable at different temperatures with a single AC or furnace.

Like almost any system upgrade, HVAC zoning presents certain pros and cons to consider.

Pros

  • Eliminates cooling/heating areas of the house that are unused at certain times of the day. This cuts energy consumption and lowers operating costs.
  • Provides independent airflow control to suit diverse temperature preferences in different areas. For example, during the summer, upstairs rooms are often warmer and occupants prefer more AC airflow at certain times of day than people downstairs.
  • The AC and furnace in an HVAC zoning system typically run fewer hours per day than units in a conventional system. This reduces wear and tear on critical system components.

Cons

  • Upfront cost is meaningful, but the Department of Energy estimates up to a 30% reduction in monthly energy consumption with zoning.
  • Installation requires accessing internal ductwork to install dampers and wiring, installation of the controller and multiple thermostats.
  • More equipment and technology typically imposes increased maintenance and potential service requirements.

Contact the professionals at NisAir Air Conditioning to learn more about the potentials offered by HVAC zoning in your home.

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