How Zone Control Systems Save You Money
May 15, 2021
What is a zone control system?
A zone control system is a way of controlling the heated or cooled air that enters your room. It is used to provide the required heating or cooling that each area of your home needs at the time. It not only makes your environment comfortable but contributes to lowering your utility bills as well.
Many of the areas in the house remain empty for most of the day. When a particular area is not in your use, you should avoid wasting money on it. Zone control systems divide your home into different zones, as established by you and your technician. The bigger the house, the greater the number of zones there are. Depending on the daily usage of the area, you decide which needs to be heated or cooled and which does not. This helps in saving you on electricity costs.
How do zone control systems work?
Zone control systems need three basic components for operation:
- Control panels
When a thermostat requests for climate alteration (either heating or cooling), the HVAC system starts working, and the dampers to other zones get sealed – unless one of those zones is also receiving a request. Air passes only through the vents that have open dampers.
When the thermostat registers that the required temperature (set according to your needs) is maintained, it will indicate the control panel to close its dampers and cycle down your HVAC system until there are other pending requests. When all the requests have been met, the system opens a vent in the return air ducts to balance the pressure in the ventilation system before shutting off at a later stage.
What do I need to install to my existing HVAC system?
Zone control panels
The zone control panel is the central control that will carry out communications among thermostats, dampers, and HVAC equipment. It is mounted by your equipment and acts as the brains behind the entire zone control system.
Thermostats are used for reading the air temperature in each zone of your home. If the temperature rises above or falls below the actual temperature set by you, the thermostat will send a signal to the control panel to bring on cool or hot air for that zone.
Dampers are located in the ducts. They control the flow of air to certain zones of your house. The dampers are wired to a particular zone on the control panel, which is controlled by a specific thermostat in your house. Dampers open and close automatically, depending on which thermostats are requested.
How does a zone control system save you money?
A zone control system minimizes costs by helping you:
- Use energy efficiently
- Adjust temperatures according to your needs
- Maintain an even temperature throughout your home
Efficient use of energy
A zone control system enables you to choose which zones of your house you want to heat or cool, instead of working in all parts of the house. Turning off air conditioning in unoccupied zones helps you save money. Zoning can also be automated, so you won’t have to turn off the AC while leaving the kitchen or cooling your bedroom at night.
Temperature adjustment according to your needs
Besides controlling certain areas of the house, zone control systems also offer enhanced comfort for each member of the family. Some members may prefer a cooler space while others enjoy more warmth. A zone control system can help everyone get their desired temperature by allowing some parts of the house to remain warm and others not. This can result in increased comfort, less energy expense, more efficiency, and less conflict with family members.
Maintains even temperature
Some areas of your home are naturally cooler or warmer compared to others because of additional windows, doors, or poor insulation. A zone control system will provide more energy only to these problem areas and not the entire home, which saves your total costs on electricity.
How much money can zone control systems save?
As discussed earlier, a zone control system saves a great amount of money and time. When your HVAC system works hard, it consumes a great amount of electricity. When the HVAC system is working as per your needs, it will not waste energy which results in lower utility bills. Also, the reduced workload of the HVAC system means there will be fewer requirements for repair and maintenance costs.
With a zone control system, you can save up to 30% on your monthly electricity bills. In simpler terms, if your electric bill is $140, it can be reduced to $100.
Pros and cons of zone control system
An HVAC system can help turn most parts of your home into “climate zones”, giving you the authority to pick which rooms to heat or cool.
With the HVAC zoning system, you no longer have to waste energy and spend unnecessary money. The biggest bonus of a zone control system is that you fully control where the conditioned air should go, restricting the airflow in unwanted areas.
Comfortable temperature levels
Fighting over the thermostat setting is a common occurrence in every household with an HVAC system. With zoned HVAC, all your family members can set the desired temperature and live comfortably and peacefully.
Reduces the cost of utility bills
Since you restrict or reduce the airflow in particular areas of the house at certain times, your HVAC will have a lower workload and will consume less energy. This minimized usage of electricity will result in reduced utility bills, helping you save on total expenses.
Significant upfront cost
Installing an HVAC zoning system can be costly initially, due to the extra equipment that needs to be installed. However, the long-term costs touched on above ultimately outweigh the initial upfront payment.
With more equipment added to the project, tracing the root cause of an HVAC malfunctioning can be more of a challenge
What factors contribute to installation costs?
There are numerous choices for your home’s new HVAC system, so your contractor will evaluate the exact final cost.
Factors that increase the HVAC zoning costs are:
- New equipment
- Installation labor
- Equipment pad or stand
- Electrical work
- Ductwork installation
- Other equipment for unique situations
Should you install a zone control system?
Most people enjoy the benefits of zone control systems. If your home has an area that feels uncomfortable, you should opt for this system.
As you make your decision, consider the following questions:
- Does your home have more than one story?
- Is there a rambling floor that extends beyond your living area?
- Is there a concrete slab as the foundation?
- Are there any finished rooms in the basement or over the garage?
- Does your home have large open areas?
If you answered yes to any of the above-mentioned questions, talk to an experienced technician about your zoning options.
How to install a zone control system
Zone control systems can be complicated to install. This is why you should hire a professional HVAC technician who can install a zoning system that will fit your needs. Contact Rinaldi’s today to make sure that your zone control system is installed correctly and offers you comfort, efficiency, and convenience.