What is a zoned HVAC system?

An HVAC zoning system (also referred to as “zoned HVAC”) is a heating and cooling system that uses dampers in the ductwork to regulate and redirect air to specific areas of the home. This allows for the creation of customized temperature zones throughout the home for increased comfort and efficiency. A zoned HVAC system takes your existing AC unit and splits it up into “zones” or areas. Most zone systems have 2-3 zones but can be configured for up to 4 zones under certain conditions. We accomplish this by sizing out the areas, installing thermostats, control boards, and motorized mechanical dampers that open and close as needed to cool or heat each area.

Almost every household can benefit from a zoned HVAC system. That’s because most homes have a room that’s always too hot or too cold, and family members with different temperature preferences. Zoning systems allow you to accommodate those different comfort needs, while also helping you save energy.

Some factors to consider:

Are the temperature preferences of the people in your home very different?

Is your HVAC system a two stage or greater unit? This is the best type of unit to use with zoning. Single stage units can be loud and uncomfortable when zoning is added.

Is there room in your attic for the accessories and extra ductwork?

The advantages of a zoned system include the ability to control different areas of your home at different temperatures for optimal comfort. You also add the possibility of adding capacity to areas of your home without increasing the size of the HVAC unit. Finally, as mentioned before, ultimately, you can expect to enjoy energy savings due to improved HVAC system efficiency.

Some potential disadvantages of installing a zoned HVAC system may include cost. Zoned systems can cost anywhere from $2,500 to $7,500, depending on the complexity and difficulty of the installation of the system. With a zoned system, you may also experience temperature limitations. For example, you would not be able to run heating in one zone and cooling in another zone at the same time. Finally, some zoned systems may struggle on days with extreme temperatures. A zoned system is designed with the assumption that the unit will not need to run continuously. As one area reaches the desired temperature, those dampers close and the other areas will start to receive air.

If a zoned system sounds like it just might be the thing you have been searching for, give us a call at Gentry today! Our friendly, experienced HVAC professionals would be happy to talk you through your options, and come out to your site to help you plan your next steps.