If you’ve done any research on home heating or cooling, you’re sure to have come across info on HVAC zones and zoned HVAC systems. In this article – and the accompanying video – we’re going to define the concept and give you some basic info on what it might mean for heating and cooling your home.
Simply: An HVAC zone is an area in your home in which you wish to have specific heating or cooling control. So, an HVAC zoning system is one that allows you to create custom areas within your home’s HVAC system. Some common reasons for zones include: rooms with large windows or poor insulation, converted garages or workshops, or additions and new rooms including home offices and gyms. If there’s an area of your home that doesn’t get as warm or cool as the rest of the house, then adding HVAC zoning might be a good option for you.
The word “zone” comes up most often these days in reference to ductless mini splits. In those systems, each zone gets its own air handler to create the desired custom comfort level. But, HVAC zoning can also apply to traditional furnace and AC ducted systems. In those cases, zone dampers in the ductwork regulate and redirect air to specific areas of your home. In both cases, there is a control panel in which you can set the levels for each area.
Determining the # of zones needed in a home is dependent on many factors and is best handled by an HVAC professional. They can let you know what it would take to add HVAC zone control to your existing system. In addition to the sizes and layout of the rooms in your home, consideration will also be given to each area’s specific conditions that could affect heating and cooling, including the type and size of windows, height of ceilings, and type and quality of insulation.