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What is a Zoning System for HVAC?

What is a Zoning System for HVAC?

Posted by
Ed Miller on Mon, Sep 16, 2013

The Jacksonville Florida area can get pretty hot, which means that people spend a lot of money on their utility bills, trying to keep their house cool in the summer, and also warm in the winter.
One strategy for fighting the high cost of heating and cooling is to install an HVAC zoning system. When used in conjunction with programmable thermostats, these systems can help homeowners save money.

What is an HVAC zoning system?

An HVAC zoning system isolates areas of your home by means of motorized dampers that are controlled by the thermostat. A single thermostat can control multiple dampers, if there are multiple ducts in a single room, or zone. Each zone has its own thermostat, which allows you to have a finer level of control over how your home is heated and cooled. The thermostat in each zone is connected to a control panel, which connects to the thermostat on the HVAC unit. This allows each thermostat to control its zone.

The control panel responds to requests from the individual thermostats on a first come, first serve basis. If the thermostat in the kitchen indicates that it needs conditioned air to keep at the set temperature, then the dampers to the other zones will be closed, allowing more cool or warm air to flow freely to the requesting zone. If other zones also are calling for heated or cooled air, the dampers will open up to those zones.

An area of the home that isn’t used very often during the day or night might be allowed to reach a higher temperature during the summer than you would want areas that are typically occupied. For example, if the living room isn’t normally in use late in the evening, you might adjust the temperature a little bit, so that it is a little warmer than you would feel comfortable with if you were occupying that room.

Using a zoning system in your house makes sense from an energy efficiency standpoint, because only areas that require temperature adjustment are served with conditioned air. This contrasts with a regular, single thermostat which lacks the fine grained controls and the conditioned air is spread throughout the house via the ducts. You could compare it to having a single control for the water in your house that opened up every tap, or a faucet on every tap. You wouldn’t want to turn on the water in the bathroom when you are trying to run water for dishes.

Programmable Thermostat

A programmable thermostat is a complimentary piece to a HVAC zoning system in your home.

With programmable thermostats, you can set the thermostat to raise and lower the temperature at set times. This can be very useful if your home is unoccupied during the daytime hours. You can set the thermostat to allow the temperature to go up or down depending on the season, reducing the amount of energy that is used. When used in conjunction with a zoning system, you can keep your bedrooms at a comfortable temperature, while increasing or decreasing the temperature in the rest of the house.

With a regular central thermostat, if you are going out of town for the weekend, you can set the thermostat up a few degrees, but you don’t want to crank it up too high, because you don’t want to overtax your refrigerator and freezer. With a zoning system and programmable thermostats, you can set the other zones up several degrees, while keeping the zone where the refrigerator and freezer are located in a little cooler.

If you have more questions about zoning systems and programmable thermostats in your Jacksonville area home, contact the professionals at Snyder Heating and Air. Our technicians will provide you with prompt, experienced advice on the best ways to save money on your energy bills.


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