Have you noticed that one part of your house consistently feels hotter or cooler than the other parts? Are you constantly having to reset the thermostat because someone in your household prefers a different temperature, or because the room you are in has become progressively warmer throughout the day?
If so, you may want to consider installing and using a zoning system, which allows you to control the temperature separately in different sections, or zones, of your home. Instead of having one central thermostat–which can only measure the temperature in one specific part of the house–a zoning system has multiple thermostats to measure and adjust the temperature in several different places. In the process, it can save energy by preventing the over-heating or over-cooling of some rooms, and allow you to reduce the heating and cooling loads in rooms that are empty.
A zoning system might not be a necessity for every home, but it might be right for your home if some of the following conditions apply:
- Some rooms in your house receive more direct sunlight, and therefore warm up each day due to the greenhouse effect.
- Your home has two or more stories. Since hot air rises and cool air sinks, your upstairs rooms typically need more air conditioning and less heating than the first floor.
- You have rooms in the center of your house that do not border an exterior wall. Such rooms are not affected much by the outdoor temperature, and therefore do not require much air conditioning or heating energy.
- Part of your house was built using different materials or different construction standards than the rest. This is common if you build an addition onto an older home. Typically, the newer portion likely has a different insulation rating and therefore different HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) needs.
- Part of your house sits empty for hours or days at a time. Zoning allows you to set back the thermostat in empty rooms to save energy.