Are you familiar with zoned heating for your home? While many homes use a standard heating system, dependent on a maze of ductwork, that controls the temperature of the entire structure; a zoned system allows controlled heat distribution. You can control the temperature of individual rooms or specified zones for maximum comfort and reduced energy costs by roughly 30 percent.
Zoned heating systems can easily be adjusted depending on the use of a particular room, personal heating preferences, and local climate. In addition to saving money and energy, one of the biggest advantages of zoned systems is unoccupied or rarely used rooms don’t have to be heated and colder rooms or areas of the home can be heated to provide the most comfort and efficient energy use. Complementing a zoned system with a programmable thermostat further boosts savings by reducing heat overnight and during the workday.
How a zoned heating system works
Heating and cooling a home makes up about 40 percent of its annual utility costs. Zoned heating can make a dramatic impact on monthly bills. A typical zoned heating system separates a home’s main floor and upstairs bedrooms individual zones. This of course directs heat to the main floor during the day and bedrooms at night, gradually allowing unoccupied rooms to cool down when not used. You can also control heat in little-used guest rooms.
Control valves and thermostats carry the load
By using two or more thermostats connected to a master control in homes with forced air heating systems, you can create multiple heating zones. In hydronic heating systems, the central component is a zone valve that controls water flow. An actuator inside the valve opens and closes the valve depending on heat settings. These valves offer various flow rates, allowing a customizable system for different floor plans and zones.
Installing a zoned heating system
If your existing home does not already have a zoned heating system, installing one is a complicated process best left to an expert. Controls and thermostats must be wired and connected to pumps, boilers, or furnaces, and then tied into ductwork or hydronic lines. That means significant cutting into walls, extensive electrical work, and potentially adding copper lines.
However, the resulting energy savings and convenience of temperature control make this an attractive and very worthwhile home improvement option. Remember that most HVAC systems last 15-25 years, depending on maintenance and use. Contact an expert technician to see how zoned heating can work for you.