A zoned heating and cooling system can help you save energy, make your house more comfortable and permanently end the “battle of the thermostat.” Before installing a zoning system, though, you need to put some work into planning and designing a system that will best fit your needs.
The key elements of a well-planned zoning system include:
- Choosing the layout of zones based on differences in heating and cooling loads. The “load” is the amount of heating or cooling power needed to bring each room to a comfortable temperature, and is directly related to how much heat each room either absorbs from or loses to its surroundings. In general, this means that:
- Each floor of a multi-level house should have separate zones, because hot air rises and cold air sinks.
- Interior rooms, which do not have an exterior wall through which they can lose or gain heat with the outside air, should be zoned separately from perimeter rooms.
- Rooms that receive a lot of sunlight through windows, and which therefore heat up due to the greenhouse effect, should have their own zone. Ideally, any west-facing “sun rooms” should be zoned separately from any east-facing rooms.
- Any home additions or conversions that use different building materials or insulation should have their own zone.
- Have separate “day” and “night” zones. For most people, separating the bedrooms from the rest of the house allows them to only heat or cool half the house at a time, saving on energy costs.
- Use programmable thermostats. A zoning system makes programmable thermostats even more valuable.
- Place each thermostat in the most-used room of the zone. Thermostats should not be placed in hallways; people only spend a few seconds in a hallway at a time but can be in the same room for hours.
- Have a balance of air vents per zone. This helps with circulation and provides more even, steady temperatures and insures the system will performance is not negatively affected.
If you’re thinking of installing a zoning system in your Kansas City area home, contact the experts at Overland Park Heating & Cooling. We can help design a zoning system that ideally meets your needs.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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