The HVAC Zoning Guide for Empty Nesters

May 07, 2019

If you’re on your way to an empty nest, you’ve got quite a bit on your mind. You have more free time in your future you’ll need to fill. You’re likely a little worried about the kids being out on their own for the first time. One thing you might want to put on that list of things to consider: A newly emptied nest changes the way you can use energy efficiently.

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

But even though you’re using lower amounts of energy, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be more efficient with the energy you do consume. With some open rooms, you’re paying to heat and cool spaces you’re not even using. Shutting the doors and vents in those rooms won’t fix that—in fact, you’ll probably use more energy and put a strain on your HVAC that way. Zoning might be just the ticket for you.

What is Zoning?

A zoned heating and cooling system controls the air in your HVAC to target specific areas—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 particularly helpful. Rather than battle with just one part of the home that is too hot or cold, zoning permits a custom temperature to be set in the area.

Zoning systems are also nice for empty nesters who want to save energy and costs each month. With a zoning system, you can design different zones in your home and manage them individually. When the kids are at their own place, you can set the temperature in their space to use less energy. When they come back to visit, you make a small tweak and it’s like they never left.

Most importantly, you can save energy and costs 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 Think About Zoning?

Zoning systems are an ideal 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 spaces in the home.
  • Large windows are a part of commonly used rooms.
  • High ceilings make it difficult to regulate temperatures.

Will Zoning Work with My Existing HVAC?

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

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

Every home’s heating and cooling set up is different. The experts at Air Alliance Team can help you determine whether zoning makes sense for you.

An empty nest is a big change—so it’s a great time to reexamine your heating and cooling system to see if it’s meeting your needs. At Air Alliance Team, 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, call our experts at 636-206-4250 or schedule an appointment with us online.