If your family can't agree on a comfortable temperature, or if you like to close off rooms you're not using, a zoned heating and cooling system can help you save energy.
How it works
In a typical zoning system, sensors in each room or group of rooms, or zones, monitor the temperature. The sensors can detect where and when heated or cooled air is needed.
These sensors send information to a central controller that activates the zoning system, adjusting motorized dampers in the ductwork and sending conditioned air only to the zone in which it is needed.
By delivering conditioned air only to areas that are in use, a zoning system eliminates the needless waste of keeping unused areas comfortable.
Better energy efficiency
A properly zoned system can be up to 30 percent more efficient than a non-zoned system. A zoned system supplies warm or cool air only to those areas that require it - energy isn't wasted heating and cooling spaces that aren't being used.
In addition, a zoned system can sometimes allow you to install smaller capacity equipment without compromising comfort. This reduces energy consumption by reducing wasted capacity.
A zoned system allows more control over the indoor environment because you decide what areas to heat or cool and when. Consider, for example, cases where children have moved out and some rooms have only occasional use. Or, rooms originally intended for one purpose are converted to other uses.
Zoning lends itself well to these situations because it easily adapts to heating and cooling load changes caused by increased or decreased usage, room additions or a change in occupants or lifestyle.
A zoned system quickly adapts to changing conditions in one area without affecting other areas. For example, many two-story houses are zoned by floor. Because heat rises, the second floor usually requires more cooling in the summer and less heating in the winter than the first floor.
A non-zoned system can't completely accommodate this seasonal variation. Zoning, however, can eliminate wide variations in temperature between floors by supplying heating or cooling only to the space that needs it.