What Is HVAC Zoning, And Which Homes Can Benefit From It?

A central heating and air conditioning system operate on all in or all out basis; either the whole house is heated or cooled or the HVAC is off. A zoning HVAC system, on the other hand, only targets specific rooms or places in the house. It also means each zone can have its own set temperature.

To understand the difference between these two systems best, compare the HVAC to a lighting system in a house. A central HVAC system then compares to a house where all the lights are controlled by a single switch and flipping the switch on or off turns all the lights in the house on or off. A zoning HVAC system, on the other hand, compares to a conventional lighting system where lights in different rooms have individual switches that control them.

As you can see, zoning HVAC system is efficient because it only heats up or cools the desired areas.  As you can suspect, zoning systems are more complicated and expensive to install than central HVAC. Still, there are specific buildings that can greatly benefit from the installation of zoning systems, such as the following houses:

Homes with Multiple Stories

In a typical multistory home, the lower levels tend to be cooler than the upper levels. This means if the upper rooms are heated at the same rate as the lower levels, then the upper rooms end up being warmer than the lower ones. The same thing is true with houses that have underground rooms. Zonal heating and cooling solve this problem because each level is heated or cooled to a suitable temperature.

Homes with Large Windows

In homes with large windows, the outer rooms tend to be cooler or warmer than the inner rooms depending on the prevailing weather. For example, during the summer when the large windows admit considerable light, the outer rooms can be warmed by sunlight and end up being hotter than the inner rooms that don't receive direct sunlight. Again, uniform heating will interfere with the comfort of such a house and the problem can easily be solved by zonal heating.

Homes Where Some Rooms Are Rarely Used

Lastly, zonal heating can also help you in a house where some rooms are only used occasionally. A good example is if you have children in college and they only use their rooms during vacation. In such a house, heating or cooling the whole house all the time would waste a lot of energy.

Contact an HVAC specialist for more information on choosing a central heating unit for your home.