Looking for a solution to warm and cold spots in your home or office? Consider a zoned heating and air conditioning system.
Zoned heating and air systems allow rooms to be climate controlled individually. In an office building this means that each room can be kept warmer or cooler, according to the occupant’s comfort level. They can be a better solution in situations where there are many people and rooms, keeping a temperature ‘war’ from occurring. Some businesses even have gone the desperate route of having locking boxes placed over their thermostats to keep people from changing the temperature. This type of heating and air system eliminates the need for dire memos and actual carrying out of threats in said memos, cutting down on paper and ink usage, as well. When used in a home, the man of the house can be perfectly cool and comfortable in his favorite chair, while the woman of the house can find comfort in her favorite room, and no one in the family has to be uncomfortably cool or warm.
How Does a Zoned Heating and Air System Work?
There is a major difference between true zoned HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air-Conditioning) systems and in using different systems for each floor in a multi-level building. In the case of using a different system for each level in a home or business, this is not zoned heating and air, because the systems are working independently of each other without a single central control. A zoned system relies on a single unit or set of units, in the case of very large buildings, from which the heating and cooling will be directed to various locations from one single location. For example, there are three rooms, or zones, that need independent climate control. The system will implement three dampers, plates or valves that will allow lesser or greater air flow by closing and opening, to direct how much cool or warm air enters into a room. These dampers may also be known as VCDs, or volume control dampers. Each zone will have its own adjustable thermostat, while a central control for the entire system will be placed near the HVAC unit.
Knowing if a Zoned System is Right for You
When a zoned heating and air system is going to be installed, there are several factors that have to be taken into account. Is the home or business multi-level? Then the zone control will have to be a thermal equalizer. How many zones will there be? Is the HVAC system a heat pump? Thermostats used for heat pump systems are different. Is the installation only limited to an upstairs floor, or downstairs? Very small zones may be difficult to heat and air proper due to the size of duct needed. These are some of the considerations that have to be accounted for before a zoned HVAC system can be installed.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Zoned Systems
The advantages to having a zoned HVAC system installed into a home or business are pretty easy to figure out. It is much easier to keep everyone in the building comfortable, while cutting energy costs by being able to turn thermostats up or down as needed. This can equal pretty decent energy bill savings. Being able to control the temperature of each zone from a single unit replaces the need for separate units in a building or for window air conditioning units and radiators. There are a few disadvantages as well. Initial cost for a zoned HVAC system may be higher than a normal system installation. Ductwork may have to be changed or sized up to allow greater air flow, and zoning from a central system is not possible in some old buildings, because there just in not enough room for the ductwork to be installed. Technicians that install these systems have to be very knowledgeable and up to date on them, and not all technicians can install such a sophisticated system, let alone service it. One more drawback to a zoned HVAC system is the fact that not all HVAC systems can support them. It is best to have your current system inspected by a technician well-versed in these systems to determine if yours is the right one for zoned heating and air.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions Concerning Zoned Systems
When you are considering having a zoned HVAC system installed in your home or office, make sure that you are using a reputable, knowledgeable heating and air service whose technicians are completely familiar and up to date with these systems. Using a company that doesn’t have the latest in technology or know-how can cost a lot in regards to energy, financial layout, and expensive repairs. Make sure they can explain to you exactly what they are going to be doing, and can demonstrate how they will be doing it, so you understand better what work they will be performing. If they get too technical, don’t be afraid to ask them to explain things to you in laymen’s terms. If you are comfortable with what the company has to say, have an HVAC installed for better comfort and control in your living and working environment, as well as possibly being able to save on your energy bill.