If creating an oasis of comfortable coolness from one room and floor to the next in your Florida home sounds too good to be true, and if all the while you’re enjoying lower cooling bills and your cooling system is enjoying less wear and tear sounds like a preposterous claim, especially considering the high temps in the Sarasota and Bradenton areas, then perhaps you haven’t heard of a practical and effective HVAC add-on called a zoning system.
Constant Control of Indoor Temps
A zoning system is a simple and straightforward network of thermostat devices, one in each zone, automatic dampers in the ductwork and a central control center which gives you constant control of indoor temperatures inside, and throughout, your home. Zoned temperature control affords you the benefit of personalized comfort 24/7/365 in each area of your home in conjunction with your current forced-air cooling and/or heating system (e.g. A/C or heat pump).
Each thermostat is monitored by the central control panel, which activates the cooling or heating system when the temperature in any particular zone requires adjusting to match its thermostat’s setting. The volume of cooled or heated airflow is monitored and regulated by the central control panel, which may be adjusted manually or programmed by using programmable thermostats. The automatic duct doors receive a signal prompting them to open or close, at which point they will either allow or block airflow until the temperature set point for the zone is reached.
Zoning Systems Improve Comfort
Not every home needs a zoning system; however, many home-design elements, air leaks and insulation deficiencies create uneven temperatures. These are a few examples of situations where zoning systems would enhance home comfort and improve cooling and heating efficiency:
- Large homes with sprawling floor plans
- Multi-level homes
- Homes with commonly unoccupied areas (e.g. unused guest rooms)
- Homes with high ceilings
- Large and/or multiple windows
- Remodeled attic space
- Room additions
- Occupant temperature preferences are different
Zoning Systems Save Energy
Zoning systems save energy by limiting the cooling and heating required, thereby leveraging maximum electricity efficiency, with which to keep you comfortable in all situations.
Take for example a two-story home with all the bedrooms situated upstairs. The typical Florida home without a zoning system may need to turn down the thermostat a few or several degrees in order to keep the upstairs cool enough for everyone to get restful sleep. The upstairs zone(s) would receive cool airflow while the zone(s) downstairs would not receive any airflow at all. The cooling system doesn’t need to expend as much electricity, and wear and tear, to cool only one floor.
In a large home with a sprawling floor plan, you may have bedrooms on opposite ends of the home which receive different heat radiation from the sun. These polar areas would be in different zones so each is cooled or heated to comfortable temperatures when needed.
Perhaps both sample homes contain guest rooms, unused bedrooms and other areas which seldom need cooling and heating. Cooling and heating unoccupied rooms and areas in your home is like leaving the lights on (except much more expensive).
Zoning and Your HVAC Systems
By reducing the amount of cooling and heating your home needs, you effectively reduce the cooling and heating load placed on your HVAC systems. This is significant in that your cooling and heating systems undergo much less wear and tear through the years, which helps reduce repairs and extends system life.
If you are upgrading your heat pump or A/C in conjunction with a zoning system installation, make sure to discuss advanced features for your new A/C or heat pump with your HVAC contractor. A variable-speed air handler and two-stage compressor are ideal matches for zoning systems.
If you have a typical single-speed air handler with your A/C or heat pump, it circulates the same amount of cooled or heated airflow regardless of the number of zones that are calling for cooling or heating. If only one zone needs cooling, for example, the closed duct doors to the inactive zones direct all the airflow to the single activated zone.
On the other hand, a variable-speed air handler recognizes that only one zone needs cooling or heating, and adjusts air velocity accordingly. Both single- and variable-speed air handlers save energy with a zoning system, but an A/C or heat pump with advanced features works in perfect harmony with the zoning system and provides ultimate home comfort.
To find out if a zoning system is right for your Sarasota or Bradenton-area home, contact Aqua Plumbing & Air Quality Service today. We’re the trusted source for HVAC service, repair and installation in Sarasota and Manatee counties.