Do you have areas in your home that are hard to heat or cool? Or maybe you have family members who argue over what the temperature should be. Perhaps you’re looking for ways to reduce your energy bills.
The answer to all these problems lies in creating separate temperature zones in your home, each with a separate thermostat.
Having one thermostat to control every area of your home just doesn’t provide ideal temperature control. That’s because different parts of your home are naturally warmer or cooler because of sun exposure, windows, or elevation. One thermostat just can’t keep up.
Common examples include:
- Bedrooms over garages that never get warm enough.
- Second stories that are almost impossible to cool.
- Living rooms with large windows that fry all day and freeze at night.
Dr HVAC can design and install the right zoning system for your home. Ask for your free quote today.
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How Zoning Systems Work
Zoning systems work using separate thermostats in every part of your home where custom control is needed. You can have as few as 2 zones (say, upstairs and downstairs) or up to 6 or 7.
You also need a ductwork system that is compatible with multiple zones. These systems are appropriately designed with the right size, length, and configuration of ducts. They also have custom damper control, so that when your furnace switches on, the warm or cool air goes where it’s needed.
You don’t need multiple furnaces and air conditioners to power your system, but you do need one that’s zoning compatible. Also, not all thermostats work with zoning systems, and they all have different numbers of zones they control.
When Should I Install a Zoning System?
The ideal time is when you’re building a new house or if you’re doing major renovations. Your ductwork will need to be retrofitted or replaced, depending on its existing quality.
Will Zoning Systems Really Save on Energy?
The short answer is yes.
- A study done by the University of Virginia (see page 10) shows that homeowners who installed zoning systems saved an average of 20.5% – some saved more. Because Toronto is colder, we generally save more.
- Natural Resources Canada found that 95% of homeowners found zoning to be effective (see page 4).
We can’t give you an exact dollar value for how much you’ll save, as that will depend on how efficient your system was before, and the current price of natural gas.
Using a Zoning System for Maximum Benefit
Zoning-compatible thermostats should have a programmable schedule. Most are controllable from your smartphone. This allows you to tailor your temperature to your family’s needs as you go about your day, use different rooms, and come and go from your home.
When you aren’t heating or cooling rooms you aren’t using, you pay less in energy.
How Much Does a Zoning System Cost?
They cost a lot less that you think. If you have a high efficiency furnace that is zoning compatible, the ductwork adaptations and installing the thermostat system will cost a few thousand dollars.
We’d love to be able to give you an exact amount, but every home is different and the costs will be unique to you. The cost will depend on things like:
- The size of your home.
- How many zones you need.
- The condition of your current ductwork.
Ductwork Design and Efficiency
Even if you don’t need the precise control that a zoning system will give you, good ductwork will still help you save.
EnergyStar says that leaking or poorly designed ductwork systems can reduce the efficiency of your heating and cooling system by up to 20%. Over the years, that can cost you a lot of money in energy.
When we visit new customers’ homes, we often find there are certain ductwork efficiency issues that we see all the time.
- Ducts that aren’t sealed properly. They leak cool or warm air so less is delivered where it’s needed.
- Cold air returns that are way too small, and create a bottleneck in the system.
- 90° angles in the ductwork “boots” (the part that connect from the main line to the register). Too steep an angle reduces airflow – it’s just like trying to do too sharp a turn in a car.
If you’re having a major home renovation done, it might be a great opportunity to improve your home’s ductwork system if your walls are open. Better yet, if you’re building your own home, it’s the perfect time to make sure your heating and cooling system is designed correctly.
If you’re getting a new furnace, but don’t want or need a major overhaul to your ducting system, we can still do improvements like right-sizing registers so that you get better air pressure.
Your Satisfaction Matters
Dr HVAC is a small but dedicated local team of heating and cooling experts. That means we’re never too busy to answer questions or make sure the job is done right. To us, great service means full prices up front, no sales pressure, and technicians you can trust to care for your home’s heating and cooling system like it was their own.
To get started, just ask for your free quote.