Zoning separates your home into “zones,” or areas that can be heated or cooled independently. This allows you to save energy and customize comfort by adjusting the temperature in each zone according to your schedule and preference. Each zone is usually controlled with its own thermostat.
For example, zoning a two-story home typically involves creating three zones: one for the basement, one for the first floor living spaces, and one for the second floor bedrooms. Some homeowners like to create separate zones for new additions or four season sun rooms.
Hot water boiler systems are usually easy to zone. Each zone is created with a separate loop of pipe that feeds radiators, baseboards, in-floor heating tubes, kickspace heaters, or some combination. Valves and circulators operate to connect the piping to the thermostat for each zone.
Split-ductless air conditioners and heat pumps also work nicely in zoned systems. Separate equipment is simply installed in each zone.
Zoning a forced air system is more challenging. Some very large homes can be zoned by installing separate furnaces and air conditioners for each zone.
However, most homes are designed with just one furnace and one air conditioner for the entire building. Zoning can be accomplished by installing motorized dampers in the ductwork to control airflow in different areas, but this can be complicated and involve many trade-offs.
If you have a forced air system and you are interested in zoning, we can help you determine feasibility.