If your San Antonio, TX, home is like most others around the country, it likely has a single-zone HVAC system. That means it relies on a single thermostat and an HVAC system that heats and cools the whole house at once. In many cases, however, that can result in uneven temperatures throughout your home and even wasted energy due to inefficient heating and cooling. However, there is a solution to those problems. It’s called a zoned heating and cooling system, and here’s what they are and seven of their most important benefits.
What Is a Zoned Heating and Cooling System?
A zoned heating and cooling system is an add-on to a central HVAC system that divides your home’s ductwork up into multiple zones. This is done via motorized dampers installed in your ductwork that can open and close to control the airflow in your home. In a zoned heating and cooling system, each zone has its own thermostat, which works with the dampers and a central control unit to direct the output of your HVAC system to wherever needs it at any given time. A zoned HVAC system can include as few as two zones to as many as four zones, depending on your home’s comfort needs. For example, you could split your home up into heating and cooling zones based on the number of floors in your home. Or, you could split it based on the amount of solar exposure one part of your home gets versus another.
When Are Zoned HVAC Systems Useful?
Although it’s possible to install a zoned heating and cooling system in any home, there are certain situations where they work better than others. These include:
- Multi-floor homes
- Homes with high ceilings
- Homes with large windows in some rooms
- Homes with sunrooms
- Homes with open kitchens
- Homes with disused rooms
In homes that meet any or all of the above criteria, zoned HVAC can simultaneously boost comfort while trimming heating and cooling costs. The following are the major benefits of zoned heating and cooling systems.
1. Improved HVAC Efficiency
One of the downsides of a single-zone HVAC system is that it forces you to heat or cool your whole home, even if you’re not using parts of it. That is quite inefficient and leads to wasted energy. A zoned heating and cooling system gives you more precise control over the temperature in different parts of your home. You can set a different temperature in each zone of your home to improve your comfort and only spend money to heat and cool the spaces you need to. According to the Department of Energy, a properly designed zoning system can cut a home’s yearly energy bills by up to 30%.
2. Longer HVAC Lifespan
With a zoned heating and cooling system, you reduce the overall demand on your HVAC. This leads to less wear and tear on your HVAC system, which helps it to last longer. Although your system usage will play a role in determining how much longer, it isn’t unusual for zoned systems to last for up to 5 years longer than their single-zone counterparts. In turn, that will help you maximize your investment in your home’s HVAC system, and delay the need for a replacement.
3. Eliminates Hot and Cold Spots
Zoned heating and cooling systems also eliminate hot and cold spots from your home. This is because the additional thermostats that come with a zoned system allow it to detect temperature conditions in your home more accurately. And it also allows the system to direct more hot or cold airflow to the parts of your home that need it. The result is more even heating and cooling and smaller temperature differentials between the zones.
4. Quieter Operation
Although you may be used to the quiet hum of your home’s HVAC system when it’s running, you may not realize how disturbing it actually is. However, if you installed a zoned heating and cooling system, you would certainly notice the difference when that sound isn’t ever-present. Since a zoned system closes ductwork when the parts of your home it services don’t need air, you won’t have to hear your HVAC running unnecessarily. The result is more peace and quiet in your home to go with the superior comfort a zoned system provides.
5. Advanced Functionality
Modern zoned heating and cooling systems often include smart thermostats that add additional advanced functionality to your HVAC. You can, for example, monitor the conditions in each zone remotely and change your thermostat settings remotely, too. They’re also useful because they allow you to make changes in response to weather changes without paying a visit to each thermostat individually.
6. Improved Air Quality
Zoned heating and cooling systems also improve air quality in the homes that have them. One reason for this is that they reduce the transmission of airborne pollutants between zones. It also reduces the spread of any dust or dirt that managed to make it past the HVAC system’s air filter. Zoned HVAC systems also do a better job of controlling humidity, which is another important factor in a home’s air quality.
7. Ease of Installation
The final important benefit associated with zoned heating and cooling systems is that they’re easy to install. In most cases, you can retrofit your existing HVAC system to service multiple zones. To do it, one of our expert HVAC technicians would start by working with you to design appropriate comfort zones for your home. This would include a thorough examination and mapping of its existing ductwork.
Then, they’d install the electric dampers and run the required control wiring back to your home’s indoor HVAC unit. There, they’d install the necessary control system and connect the damper control wires to it, as well as connect it to your HVAC. Finally, they’d ruin the necessary wiring for your new thermostats or install wireless thermostats to complete your zoned heating and cooling system. It’s a process that only takes a few hours from start to finish.
Your HVAC Zoning Experts
Since 1990, Beyer Air Conditioning & Heating has been the go-to expert in HVAC zoning here in San Antonio. Our team of HVAC experts can help you design and install a new HVAC system that includes zoning or retrofit your existing system to add it. Additionally, we offer complete HVAC installation, repair, and maintenance services, along with indoor air quality solutions, duct cleaning and repair, and sheet metal services. And all of our HVAC technicians are NATE-certified, so you always know you’re dealing with knowledgeable, experienced professionals. On top of that, we’re also Better Business Bureau-accredited with an A+ rating and have reigned as Lennox’s number-one training company for five years in a row. We even offer financing options on approved credit to help you afford the HVAC systems and services your home needs. So, if you’d like to add a zoned heating and cooling system to your San Antonio home, call the experts at Beyer Air Conditioning & Heating today.