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What is a Zoned HVAC System?

woman adjusting thermostat

Ask the Expert: Zoned Systems

A lot of times, there are rooms in your house that are always warmer or colder than others. There can be many explanations for this, and we recommend getting one of our technicians to evaluate your situation. Due to how physics works, heat rises, so rooms on the second or third floors are often too warm. On the other hand, basement rooms are typically too cold. Rooms with vaulted ceilings have difficulty retaining heat, while rooms that receive long hours of sunlight are often challenging to cool down.

If you're tired of constantly adjusting your thermostat to achieve the right temperature in every room of your home, it may be time to consider installing a zoned HVAC system. This system allows you to control the temperature in different zones of your home independently, providing personalized comfort and energy savings.

How Does a Zoned HVAC System Work?

House with diff temperatures​The concept of a zoned system is pretty simple. It involves multiple thermostats that are wired to a control panel, which operates dampers within the ductwork of your forced-air system. The thermostats constantly read the temperature of their specific zone, then open or close the dampers within the ductwork according to the thermostat’s settings. Not only is this helpful for houses with inconsistent room temperatures, but it’s also great for heating or cooling individual bedrooms based on the desired temperature setting. If you have a usually empty guest room, just shut the door and close the damper.


Benefits of Installing a Zoned HVAC System

1. Improved Comfort

One of the most significant benefits of a zoned HVAC system is improved comfort. With a traditional HVAC system, the temperature is controlled by a single thermostat, which means that every room in your home is the same temperature. This can be problematic because different rooms have different heating and cooling needs. For example, a room with large windows may get a lot of sunlight and be warmer than other rooms in your home. By installing a zoned HVAC system, you can control the temperature in each room independently, ensuring that everyone in your home is comfortable.

2. Energy Savings

Another significant benefit of a zoned HVAC system is energy savings. With a traditional HVAC system, you are heating or cooling your entire home, regardless of whether or not every room needs it. This can be a waste of energy and money. With a zoned HVAC system, you only heat or cool the rooms that need it, which can lead to significant energy savings. According to the Department of Energy, homeowners can save up to 30% on their energy bills by using a zoned HVAC system.

3. Improved Air Quality

A zoned HVAC system can also improve the air quality in your home. With a traditional HVAC system, air is circulated throughout your entire home, which can lead to poor air quality if your ducts are dirty or clogged. With a zoned HVAC system, air is only circulated in the rooms that need it, which can lead to improved air quality.

4. Increased Lifespan of Your HVAC System

A zoned HVAC system can also increase the lifespan of your HVAC system. With a traditional HVAC system, your HVAC system is constantly turning on and off to maintain a consistent temperature throughout your home, which can lead to wear and tear on your system. With a zoned HVAC system, your system only turns on when it's needed, which can reduce wear and tear and increase the lifespan of your HVAC system.


What type of home is ideal for an automatic zoned system?

  • Large homes
  • Multi-level homes
  • Homes that have areas that get used heavily or areas that get used very seldom

How long do zone systems last?

  • Up to 20 years

What considerations you should make before getting rid of your zoned system?

  • Homes with zones were built to have zones for cost savings
  • You will be giving up comfort, control, & efficiency
  • You will have to manually adjust dampers at least twice a year, every year

If you currently have a zoned system and are thinking of replacing it or getting rid of it, the experts at Standard Heating & Air Conditioning can help with that decision.

Do zoned systems save energy?

If installed properly, zoned systems can help you save money on your energy bills. However, improper installation can reduce performance by as much as 30%. Unfortunately, we see lots of zoned systems that are improperly installed. Not every home is a good candidate for zoning, so make sure you consult an expert.

Considering a Zoned HVAC System in the Twin Cities Area?

A zoned HVAC system can provide numerous benefits, including improved comfort, energy savings, improved air quality, and increased lifespan of your HVAC system. If you're interested in installing a zoned HVAC system in your home, contact Standard Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. for a consultation. Our expert technicians can help you determine the best system for your home and provide professional installation services. 

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