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The HVAC Zoning Guide for Empty Nesters

May 07, 2019

If you’re on the path to an empty nest, you’ve got plenty on your mind. You have more free time in your future you’ll want to figure out things to do. You’re probably a little worried about the kids being out on their own for the first time. One thing you might want to add to that list of things to ponder: A freshly emptied nest changes the way you can use energy efficiently.

Once the kids are all packed up and gone, one of the first things you’ll notice is some of your utility costs will decrease. After all, there are fewer people utilizing the resources in your home—from water and food to electricity.

But even though you’re using a reduced amount of energy, that doesn’t mean you couldn’t be more efficient with the energy you do consume. With some open spaces, you’re racking up expenses to heat and cool rooms you’re not even using. Shutting the doors and vents in those rooms won’t fix that—in fact, you’ll likely use more energy and put a strain on your HVAC that way. Zoning can help.

What is Zoning?

A zoned heating and cooling system controls the air in your HVAC to target specific spaces—or zones—in your home. They use dampers to focus the air where it’s needed. In homes where temperature control is challenging, zoning systems can be especially helpful. Rather than fight with just one part of the home that is too hot or cold, zoning offers a custom temperature to be set in the area.

Zoning systems are also useful for empty nesters who want to save energy and money each month. With a zoning system, you can make different zones in your home and control them individually. When the kids are gone, you can set the temperature in their room to use less energy. When they come back to visit, you make a small adjustment and it’s like they never left.

Most importantly, you can save energy and expenses using a zoning system. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you could see a savings of up to 35 percent when you use zoning with a programmable thermostat.

When Should I Ponder Zoning?

Zoning systems are a great fit for empty nesters who want to save energy while keeping up with their home comfort. They’re also a great choice for homes where:

  • Temperature differs radically between different floors or rooms in the home.
  • Large windows are a part of commonly used rooms.
  • High ceilings make it difficult to maintain temperatures.

Will Zoning Work with My Existing HVAC?

Generally, zoning works best for houses that have a multi-stage variable capacity HVAC system. This ensures it can operate at peak efficiency—so you can save energy and costs. However, there are solutions for single-stage equipment that also let you reap the benefits of zoning.

And for circumstances that need an even more flexible solution, there are mini split systems that can act as a separate HVAC for difficult to regulate spaces.

Every home’s heating and cooling set up is distinctive. The team at JTech Mechanical can help you determine whether zoning makes sense for you.

An empty nest is a big change—so it’s a great time to reassess your heating and cooling system to see if it’s meeting your needs. At JTech Mechanical, our goal is to ensure you’re comfortable and your system is running as efficiently as possible. If you want to hear more on how a zoned system could help, give us a call at 281-231-8768 or schedule an appointment with us online.