Temperature Zoning Systems: Can they save me money?

So you’re considering installing a temperature zoning system in your home and you’re doing your research to find out if it can really help you and what is involved. Good for you! At Fox Air Corp, we strongly believe in educating our customers. We feel that you and our friends and neighbors in and around Poughkeepsie, NY are in a better position to make an educated decision about your HVAC system when you are fully aware of your options and the potential benefits. It also helps us provide exactly what you need and want.

Why does it make sense to consider a zoning system? Let’s go into a little more detail so later you can address the all-important question: Do you need one?

How does a Temperature Zoning System work?

The idea of a zoning system on your air and heating system is to allow independent control of separate zones, or rooms, of your house. Each zone is set up with its own thermostat, and a motorized damper on the ductwork supplying air to that zone to accomplish this. When the thermostat in that room shows you need heating (or cooling, depending on the season) then it opens the damper and allows air into the zone.

A central controller is connected to all the thermostats of all the zones so that if any one of them is requesting air flow, the central cooling and heating system is turned on.

Now you may be thinking… “Wait a second. My HVAC repair guys are always reminding me to not close off vents in certain rooms because it isn’t good for my system or for efficiency.” And you are absolutely correct! A typical system’s ductwork is not designed for zoning, and closing off a few vents will adversely affect the operation of the furnace or air conditioner. The difference in a zoning system is that there is a bypass duct installed to allow for proper airflow.

A properly installed temperature zoning system needs a crossover duct or bypass duct. This allows for any air that is cut off at your zone dampers to bypass them and go back into the return air of the system. So the airflow at the furnace or air handler is not significantly reduced.

Can a Temperature Zoning System save me Money?

Yes. A Temperature Zoning System can help you save money on your energy bills if installed and used properly. If you have guest rooms or other seldom-used rooms that don’t require constant heating or cooling, system zoning allows you to save money by running temperature-controlled air to those rooms only when you need to.  System zoning can save homeowners up to 30 percent on a typical heating and cooling bill, according to the U.S. Department of Energy,. The savings can pay for the cost of installing a zoning system, possibly, within two to five years. After that, you will be getting a return on your investment. There are not many HVAC items that can offer that kind of payback.

To be realistic, however, you need to consider the following factors. To be truly effective, a zoning system is best when installed on a central cooling and heating system that has multi-stage or modulating operation, and variable speed airflow. Why? A properly designed zoning system takes full advantage of such systems by maximizing their low power operating modes. That’s when you really see savings. You may only need to run a multi-stage AC, Furnace, or Heat Pump on its high-stage on extreme temperature days.

Want to ask us a question about a zoning system? Give us a call at (845) 473-8900 or visit our “Contact Us” page and fill out the form. Our resident expert will respond quickly with an answer.