What is a Zoned Heating and Cooling System?

What is a Zoned Heating and Cooling System?

Air VentA zoned heating and cooling system is a solution to a common home comfort problem: uneven temperatures in a home.

In this blog we will look at what exactly a zoned system consists of and show you an example of how each of these parts work together to create a more comfortable home.

The parts of a zoned heating and cooling system

Zoned heating and cooling systems are designed to keep you more comfortable in your home. They smartly control airflow to different parts of your home using dampers and controls (thermostats.)

The components of a zoned heating and cooling system include:

Air conditioner and heater
Obviously, a heating and cooling system needs a heating and a cooling unit. In the Fountain Hills area and East Valley, this is usually a combination of an air conditioner and furnace, or just a heat pump.

Compatible control(s)
Not all thermostats have zoning capabilities. If you have an old thermostat and want to retrofit your home to have a zoned heating and cooling system, you may need to update your thermostat.

Each zone will need a separate thermostat or at least a sensor that relays the information to a central thermostat.

Dampers in the ducts
Dampers are installed within your ducts. These are basically valves. They control the volume of air being distributed to each part of your home.

A common example of zoning: hot upstairs rooms

Each of these zoned system components plays a part in keeping your home comfortable.

For example, most Arizonans with multi-level homes complain that the upper floors are always warmer (because heat rises.) However, zoning can help fix this.

Installing a two-zoned system (one zone is the second floor and one is the main floor), can help you achieve more even heating and cooling. Here’s how it works:

  1. Your home is warm. Your air conditioner kicks on. It cools the whole home, but the lower floor gets to your desired temperature first (again, because heat rises.)
  2. The thermostat or control on the lower floor registers the temperature. (This is where your system would normally shut off, leaving your upstairs rooms warmer.)
  3. The control closes the damper in the ducts going to the first floor, which means all the air your air conditioner is producing is now going to the upper floor.
  4. Your upper floor quickly reaches your desired temperature and your air conditioner shuts off. Both floors are now cooled to your liking.

This is but one example of how a zoned heating and cooling system can make your home more comfortable.

You can also use zoning to let family member have individual control of the comfort of their rooms or to even out temperatures in longer, ranch-style homes that are common in older parts of Gilbert, Chandler and Mesa.

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