3 Considerations For Zoning Your New AC System

Zoned systems can be an excellent option to improve both efficiency and comfort. With a zoned HVAC system, you don't need to cool your entire home at all times. This approach can mean spending less money if parts of your home often remain unoccupied or if your family members have very different temperature preferences.

However, zoning isn't a cure-all. As with other HVAC design choices, there are times when zoning can be beneficial, and there are other times when it may provide little benefit or even harm system efficiency. If you're deciding whether a zoned system might be right for you, you'll want to keep these three important considerations in mind. 

1. Zone Balancing

Proper airflow is one of the most important parts of any air conditioning system. Your system must deliver adequate airflow to every room in your house while ensuring the correct amount of return air passes over the evaporator coil. Improper airflow can lead to hot and cold spots and more serious problems with system efficiency and operation.

To ensure adequate airflow, it's usually necessary to balance zones as much as possible. In other words, creating a zone for a single room can create problems or force less-than-ideal solutions, such as bypassing ductwork. If you want to install a zoned system in your home, you'll need to work carefully with your installer to ensure your home's zones are well-balanced.

2. Floor Layout

Your home's design is a major consideration when determining if zoning might be right for you. If your house has a large, open-concept floor layout, zoning may not be an efficient option. Since there's little physical separation between areas, zones may bleed into one another. This design can make it difficult to control the temperature in different parts of your home independently.

On the other hand, traditional layouts work much better with zoning since there's more physical separation to block airflow. Multi-story homes are another excellent use case. In these houses, zoned systems allow you to compensate for heat rising to the upper level of the house. When the upstairs zone becomes too hot, you can set that thermostat a little lower than other zones.

3. Usage

Finally, it's worth considering how you typically spend time in your home. Are there people throughout the house on most days, or do you only infrequently use certain areas? In the former case, zoning may not offer many efficiency benefits since you already need to cool your entire home on most days. On the other hand, the latter case is an excellent use case for a zoned air conditioning system.

If parts of your home often go unoccupied, you can turn the thermostat up in those areas on hot days or even turn the air conditioning off altogether. This zoned design means you can save money by leaving unused rooms uncooled while keeping the occupied parts of your home cool and comfortable. 

Contact a local air conditioning service to learn more.