According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), running the HVAC system in your Tampa, FL home could account for nearly half of your monthly energy bill. Finding ways to improve the efficiency of your heating and cooling equipment is an effective strategy for reducing your overhead costs. HVAC zoning is an increasingly popular home upgrade that limits energy use without compromising comfort. Read on to find out what HVAC zoning is and why it might be right for you.

What Is HVAC Zoning?

Central heating and cooling systems have a single thermostat that governs the temperature of every room. These systems establish and maintain a single, uniform temperature throughout buildings so that all rooms feel roughly the same. Unfortunately, this doesn’t works well for large households when residents have vastly different temperature preferences needs. It also creates a considerable amount of energy waste by forcing homeowners to heat and cool unoccupied areas.

To combat these problems, HVAC zoning divides buildings into multiple service areas. Zoned HVAC systems can have two to four separate service areas. Each area receives its own thermostat and each has its own section of ducting. HVAC ductwork is divided by duct dampers that open or close to deliver or redirect conditioned air as needed. This setup allows residents to customize temperatures in their immediate areas to their liking. It also eliminates the need to heat or cool spaces that are empty.

The Economic and Environmental Benefits of HVAC Zoning

Zoned HVAC systems use far less energy than standard central HVAC. In fact, according to the DOE, zoning your HVAC system could cut your heating and cooling-related energy use by as much as 35%. Not only does this upgrade allow homeowners to save money from month to month, but it also reduces greenhouse gas emissions from fuel-combusting heating appliances and limits overall electricity demand.

You might need HVAC zoning if your home’s layout makes uniform, whole-house heating and cooling wasteful and unnecessarily costly most of the time. For instance, if the majority of your bedrooms are upstairs, it makes no sense to heat or cool the entire building when going to bed at night. Having a dual-zone HVAC system will cut your nighttime HVAC-related energy use in half by redirecting all of the air that your HVAC system produces towards the rooms that are actively in use.

HVAC Zoning and Its Impact on Property Values and Marketability

Zoning is one of several important HVAC improvements for sellers who are eager to offload their properties at maximum profit. Among the many possible pre-sale upgrades that you can make to your home, zoning has one of the highest likelihoods of increasing its value and marketability. Many budget-savvy and eco-conscious home buyers are seeking cutting-edge efficiency upgrades like this one.

As more homeowners throughout the nation invest in zoning, this HVAC upgrade will eventually become essential for keeping homes on par with the most current market expectations, particularly multi-story homes. Although standard, central HVAC systems are still the norm throughout the nation, efforts to cut costs and carbon footprints are fast-changing this.

How Zoning Extends the Lifespans of Heaters, Heat Pumps, and Air Conditioners

Zoning is also an essential upgrade if you’re looking for effective ways to significantly extend the lifespan of your heater, air conditioner, or heat pump. By reducing the amount of work that these units do, zoning also limits their cumulative wear. With a zoned HVAC system that only delivers heated and cooled air when and where it’s needed, you can minimize stress-related repair issues and maintain your HVAC equipment much longer.

Zoning Prevents Unwanted Vent Closures

Many people have been secretly customizing HVAC air delivery and to the detriment of their HVAC systems. You might have people in your household who regularly close HVAC air vents when they no longer want cooled or heated air in their immediate areas. Although this tactic effectively directs unwanted air away from room occupants, it also greatly increases HVAC system stress.

Total vent closures create massive increases in in-duct static pressure and make it harder for heaters, heat pumps, and ACs to move air. If too many vents are closed at once or if HVAC air vents are completely closed for long, you might deal with problems like short cycling, icing, overheating, or shutdown.

While you can correct vent-related pressure issues by opening air vents back up, you may need to schedule professional air-balancing services as well. Following multiple vent closures, air balancing restores optimal air delivery. During air balancing service, our technicians strategically adjust vent positions to prevent hot and cold spots and undue system stress. With zoning, you can avoid heated arguments over thermostat settings, potentially harmful vent closures, and the recurring need for air-balancing.

Take Advantage of the Latest HVAC Technologies With Zoning

Zoned HVAC systems are governed by their thermostats and central zone control units. Thermostats send calling and hold signals to zone controls to request conditioned air or redirect air supply. Zone control systems open and close duct dampers in response. The complexity of this setup requires the use of smart thermostats rather than standard or programmable models.

If you haven’t upgraded to a smart thermostat already, doing so will greatly expand the functions and capabilities of this important HVAC system features. Homeowners can access, monitor, and adjust their smart thermostats from any location. These Wi-Fi-enabled devices come with branded mobile apps for remote functionality and ease of use. Smart thermostats also:

  • Issue HVAC performance alerts
  • Provide reminders for filter changes
  • Track HVAC energy use
  • Learn and adjust to resident schedules and behaviors

As learning devices, smart thermostats eventually develop the ability to streamline HVAC performance for continual comfort and efficiency. According to ENERGY STAR, the switch to smart thermostats alone could save you as much as 8% on your cooling and heating costs annually.

Smart thermostats also generate detailed energy consumption reports. You can use their branded apps to access and study this data. This will help you make informed decisions when setting or refining your HVAC maintenance plan, installing new heating or cooling equipment, or making other important system modifications.

Many zoned HVAC systems also offer geofencing. Geofencing establishes virtual perimeters around homes and tracks residents as they move through buildings. This way, if you leave the living room to nap in your den, your zoned HVAC system will direct air away from where you were to where you are in real-time. Homeowners can also seamlessly integrate their zoned HVAC systems with their other smart home features.

Is Zoning Right for Your Home?

Although HVAC zoning isn’t a mandatory heating and cooling addition, it’s certainly a worthwhile one, especially for larger homes with multiple floors and frequently unoccupied areas. In addition to extending the lifespan of your HVAC equipment, lowering your home energy bills and carbon footprint, and creating customized comfort to meet the needs of multiple building residents, zoning can modernize your property and add to its value. If you’re looking for a cost-effective and eco-conscious home improvement, zoning is an excellent choice.

For expert heating, cooling, and roofing services in Tampa, FL, we’re the company to call. We also provide cutting-edge IAQ improvements, solar installation, and HVAC zoning. If you’re interested in having your HVAC system zoned for comfort and efficiency, get in touch with Protek Roofing, Heating, Air & Solar today.

Protek Roofing, Heating & Air

company icon