– One thermostat centrally located in a– A zoning system delivers increased energy– A zoning system allows you to set theotal CFM - Smallest Zone CFM = By-Pass CFMWhen by-passing air into the return air duct it isand Downsizing
What is Zoning and Zone Control?
Zoning and Zone Control of Heating, Ventilating and Air
Conditioning (HVAC) Systems are two ways of saying individual
temperature control from one central HVAC System. Typically with
almost all forced air systems there is only one thermostat to control
the heating and cooling. Once that thermostat calls there is
virtually no way to control the temperature in each room of the
house except manually closing off the outlets in each room.
This manual method is time consuming and can cause harm to the
HVAC Unit as closing off too many outlets can reduce the airflow in
the HVAC severely shortening the life of the furnace, air conditioner
or heat pump.
True zoning is a professionally installed zone control system
consisting of a damper and thermostat for each room or zone of the
house and wired into a central control panel that sequences each
thermostat’s call with the zone dampers in the ducts and the HVAC
Unit. In some instances a by-pass damper or duct maybe required
to relieve excess air when smaller zone(s) are the only ones calling.
Zoning can simply be related to having a light switch in every room
of the house. You wouldn’t install just one light switch to turn on
and off all of the lights in the house….Would you? The same is true
for heating and cooling. One thermostat turning on the heating or
cooling for the entire house, when you only need a little in one
room or zone is extremely wasteful. Also, why heat or cool rooms
that may already be comfortable and air is needed in other portions
of the house.
WHY DO YOU NEED ZONING?
If you are only living in or occupying one room or zone of your
house, why heat or cool the entire house? Why you need Zoning is
for the many benefits zoning provides.
hallway, dining room or even the living room cannot properly
control the temperature in any other area than the area nearest the
thermostat. If you have a multi-level home it is very hard to control
the temperature on the second floor when the thermostat is on the
There are many factors that affect the indoor temperature in your
home. Outdoor conditions such as solar gain, wind chill, shading;
building design such as large glass areas, cathedral ceilings, multilevels,
below grade rooms, sprawling ranch designs; and internal
factors such as fireplaces, heat from lights, cooking, appliances, etc.,
all affect the temperature throughout the home.
Take for example the kitchen, the most widely variable temperature
room in the house. In winter with cooking not much heating is
needed, however in the summertime a lot of cooling is needed.
Also rooms with fireplaces, and if there thermostat is located here,
while a fire is burning the rest of the home can be very cold.
Zoning solves these problems by allowing de-centralized control and
allowing each zones thermostat to make the demand instead of
what’s good for one has to be good for everyone.
Zoning improves the overall comfort by allowing the zone
thermostats to react to changes in temperature in each zone. This
prevents over heating or cooling some rooms while others rooms
are under heaed or cooled. Zoning provides perfect comfort, where
and when you want.
efficiency on any HVAC System. Zoning allows you to set back
thermostats in zones not being used and prevents zones from be
over heated or cooled while other zones are not yet comfortable.
Look at the illustration below showing one thermostat and a typical
multi-level home. Each zone has an equal share of the energy bill.
However now add zoning and think of how often that zone is being
used and how much energy can be saved by turning off the heating
and cooling to those zone when they are not being used. Or how
much energy you’re wasting because they are too hot or cold while
others are yet to be comfortable. See below the possible savings.
Zoning savings have been achieved by many users of zoning
systems. Actual results by homeowners have reported as much as
20% to 30% savings. These results in tests can be greater when
combined with automatic setback thermostats achieving multiple
setbacks per day.
Savings of zoning systems over single zone thermostat systems are
well documented and even show a reduction in the number of
cycles of the furnace and air conditioner. Reducing the cycles of
any piece of equipment can extend its service life.
Zoning is not a new concept. Other forms of zoning have been
used with hydronic heating systems for over 50 years, using zone
valves or circulating pumps as their form of damper. In large
commercial HVAC systems VAV (Variable Air Volume) systems are a
more sophisticated form of zoning. Both hydronic and VAV zoning
have proven similar 20% to 30% savings over single zone systems.
temperature in the room or zone you’re in and not have to go to
another area of the home to change the temperature. If you’re in
the bedroom at night ready to go to bed, you can adjust the
temperature you want right there without having to go to the living
room or some other area. You can then rest assured that you are
only conditioning your bedroom zone and not all other areas of the
home. You also don’t have to guess at what temperature it has to
be in the living room in order for you to be comfortable in the
bedroom or go around closing off outlets to make sure more air gets
pumped into the bedroom.
HOW DOES ZONING WORK?
Zoning is a simple product and concept. As you have no doubt
realized by now that zoning provides the ability to only condition
those rooms that need heating or cooling and does not allow
conditioned air into those zones not requiring it.
Zoning does this through a series of components. The first being
motorized dampers that open and close based on the demands of
the zone thermostats. These dampers insert into the ducts or can be
installed at the air outlet for each room or zone. Multiple dampers
can be controlled together for a single zone if multiple ducts serve a
single room or zone. manufactures a series of damper controls to
control every type of duct and outlet.
The next key components are the zone thermostats. The
ZONEFIRST™ Systems use any standard heating and cooling
thermostat. In existing homes the existing thermostat can used as a
zone thermostat. ZONEFIRST Zoning Systems are compatible with
all standard 4 wire and heat pump thermostats. As each zone is
divided, each zone uses a thermostat to control the heating, cooling
and fan operation for its individual zone.
The zone thermostats and dampers are wired into a central control
panel. This panel requires a separate 24 Volt transformer to power
the panel, dampers and thermostats. The panel then also connects
to the thermostat connections on the HVAC Unit. Instead of using
one central thermostat, the MasterZone control panel allows the
unit to be controlled by multiple thermostats.
As each thermostat calls, be it for heating or cooling, the panel takes
the first call from any zone. If it is heating it will keep open the
damper to the calling zone, close the dampers to satisfied zones not
calling for heating, activates the furnace or heat pump and begin
supplying air only to that zone. If during this call other zones cal for
heating those zone dampers would open and heated air would be
supplied to those zones as well. Once all heating calls are satisfied
the panel will shut off the furnace or heat pump. The panel will
enter a purge mode to direct the excess heated air to the last
zone(s) calling. Once this purge mode is over the panel will see
what other calls exist. During that time other heating or cooling calls
can be made and the panel with then enter the next calls, operate
the appropriate equipment and cycle the dampers open to only
those zones calling and close the dampers to the zones that are
In some instances a separate by-pass damper is installed to relieve
any excess air from zones that are open and maybe too small to
handle the full capacity of the blower. This air is typically by-pass
into the return air duct or into a common area such as a hallway.
When air is by-passed into the return air duct capacity controls for
both the heating and cooling are also used to prevent overheating
or overcooling in the unit.
HOW DO I ZONE A SYSTEM?
When zoning any system one must look at a practical cost effective
number of zones for the home or office building. Most homes are
typically two to four zones. Offices can almost be any number of
zones depending upon the size of the building.
Most commonly a home is at least 2 zones, those being the living
room, kitchen on one zone and the bedrooms, bathrooms on the
second zone. Many other ways of zoning are by levels here each
floor is a zone, or by occupancy and use or by exposures. Here’s a
typical 2 zone single level home zoning bedrooms and living areas.
ZONE 1 – LR/K/DR ZONE 2 - Bedrooms
As the home gets larger the need for zoning increases and typically
many newer homes may have a zone for the formal living room and
dining room, a second for the back kitchen and family room, and a
third for the upstairs bedrooms. Possible others would be to split
the master and guest bedroom and the kid’s bedrooms. Another
maybe even still be the basement recreation room. The possibilities
are many and it all comes down to the comfort level and
convenience one want to achieve, keeping in mind the cost
associated with adding each zone. Below is the same home
however showing a zone for each bedroom.
ZONE 1 – LR/K/DR Each Bedroom
Any homeowner looking for a new home or looking to upgrade the
existing HVAC should at minimum consider at least two zones
between the living zone and bedroom zones.
Zoning any system requires a little thought and sometimes
imagination and creativity. Every new home has the ability to be
zoned, since zoning can be designed into the construction. Existing
homes adding zoning can take some creativity and imagination in
order to adjust to the existing ductwork. Depending upon the duct
layout in-line dampers may not be able to be used and motorized
registers or diffusers can be used to control the outlets. However
one must always consider the cost of going with several motorized
registers or diffusers versus the possibility of modifying the ductwork
in order to use one in-line damper. Wring is the other obstacle,
especially in retrofit systems. However with the coming of wireless
thermostats this makes installing zoning that much easier.
Here are some different duct layouts for different types of
Above is shown a simple two zone system that can be split
upstairs/downstairs or living area/bedroom area. The round take-off
duct would be the by-pass ducted back to the return or a dump
zone to a non-critical area.
On the right is a two
zone system with
multiple take-offs on
each zone. This
illustrates using a zone
damper to control
more than one outlet
vs. using multiple
Below illustrates a two zone system where the take-off ducts run in
several directions and the zone dampers feed from the bottom of
the separate zone ducts.
Below is shown a three zone bi-level type home where each living
area is a zone. The main level is split between the Living Room and
Kitchen Zone and the Bedroom Zone over the garage. The lower
level Family Room is a thrd zone.
Above is the same split-level home however with each bedroom as
an individual zone as well as the kitchen. The kitchen is one of the
most highly variable temperature rooms in the home requiring not
much heating in the winter but a lot of cooling during the summer.
Below is a typical radial duct system that may be a single level ranch
type home or an overhead system with five zones using small
extended plenums each with a zone damper to control multiple
ZONING SYSTEM DESIGN
Zoning any forced air system is easy once you know a few of the
basic rules. The main consideration is to maintain a constant
amount of air flow (CFM) through the HVAC Unit. This needs to
occur when only one zone is open and if the zones are of varying
size, when the smallest zone is open. The other consideration is
not to oversize a duct system too much in order to maintain
adequate velocity and airflow when all zones are open and may be
calling for conditioning on those design temperature days.
The design of the duct system for today’s zoning is an important
factor to a comfortable and efficient zoning system. The number
of zones, along with their size, often determine the best type of
There are scenarios for zoning. The first, which is typically on new
installations of where the duct work can be designed for zoning
would be to oversize the ducts for each zone in order to get more
air to the zone when it may be the only one calling. The scenario
for all others would be to use a by-pass damper to relieve the excess
air pressure in the duct system when a minority number of zones are
In new installations where ducts are being added it is recommended
to size each zone duct the same and to size the duct for
approximately 2/3 of the total HVAC System CFM. This is practical
on systems with 2 or 3 zones and when all zones are approximately
equal in size. This is NOT practical in an installation where 80% of
conditioned area is one zone and 20% is the other zone.
SIZE EACH ZONE DUCT
TO HANDLE 2/3 OF TOTAL CFM
KITCHEN / FAMILY ROOM
LIVING AND DINING ROOM
MINIMUM OF 5-6” TAKEOFFS ON EACH ZONE
OR THE EQUIVELENT OF
The reason for each zone duct being the same size is that any zone
could be the only zone calling and therefore that zone must handle
the CFM of the HVAC Unit. When the duct is sized for 2/3 of the
total CFM the smaller size does restrict the airflow and forces the air
at a higher pressure and velocity, however it does not increase the
air typically over that static pressure rating of the blower motor,
usually 0.5”W.C. This also keeps the air velocity from being
noticeably noisy. Below is a quick guide to determine the minimum
equivalent size of a zone duct for each size HVAC Unit.
System CFM Zone Duct Branch Ducts
800 CFM 12”x8”/12”Ø 5-6” Rounds
1,000 CFM 14”x8”/12”Ø 5-6” Rounds
1,200 CFM 16”x8”/14”Ø 6-6” Rounds
1,400 CFM 18”x8”/14”Ø 5-7” Rounds
1,600 CFM 20”x8”/16”Ø 5-7” Rounds
2,000 CFM 22”x8”/18”Ø 5-8” Rounds
Systems over 5 Tons typically are commercial and would use a bypass
damper to relieve the excess air pressure when the majority of
zones shut down.
In retrofit and systems with 4 zones or more, over sizing the ducts is
not practical. In these instances a by-pass damper is used to relieve
the excess air back into the return air duct or dump the air into a
central area of the building, such as a hallway, where often there is a
common return. In this instance try to locate the by-pass air as far
away from the return air intake as possible.
The key to a good zoning system is to deliver the conditioned air to
the calling zone as fast and quietly as possible in order to satisfy the
demand. Whatever air cannot be directed into the zone must then
by by-passed. This develops the formula for calculating the size of
the by-pass damper.
Once the amount of by-pass air is known it is just common sense to
size a duct adequately to handle the amount of air. ZONEFIRST
has both round and rectangular/square by-pass damper sizes.
imperative that capacity controls such as the AFC or Leaving Air ™
Sensor be used in order to protect the HVAC equipment from
freezing, overheating or pressure limits on the compressor.
The diagram above shows a typical three zone damper system with
a barometric by-pass, Model SPRD, between the supply air and
return air duct. A round take-off is also shown as an uncontrolled
dump zone delivering air continuously to a non-critical temperature
area, such as a basement or hallway as another method of relieving
excess air. Either a by-pass or a dump zone is used but rarely ever
is there a need for both.
MINIMUM POSITION DAMPER
Another form of by-pass is using minimum position dampers, such as
the ZD and RDS dampers. Setting the larger zone dampers to a
minimum position can also be a method of relieving excess air
pressure. This should be used when only small amounts of air need
to be by-passed as the minimum position air in some cases can
cause a zone to overshoot its comfort zone. Caution must be
exercised when using minimum position dampers for by-pass.
ZONING HEAT PUMPS
Heat Pumps are a very popular form of heating and cooling in the
milder climates of the country. These efficient units use the
compressor for both heating and cooling and have a reversing valve
that reverse the flow of refrigerant in order to switch between
heating and cooling modes.
Heat pumps, while very efficient, are also most efficient in milder
climates where often there is more of a cooling demand than a
heating demand, such as the southern United States. A heat pump
is also rated based upon its cooling capacity and not the heating
capacity and rely typically on electric resistance heating to
supplement the heat pump in colder weather, often less than 35°F to
40°F. When this back-up form of heat is used to supplement the
heat pump compressor, the cost to heat the home rises dramatically.
It is this reason that zoning should be installed with every heat
pump. ZONEFIRST has been zoning heat pumps for over 25 years
and making homes with zoning and heat pumps the most efficient
and affordable homes on the block.
Heat pumps with their limited capacity for heating cannot afford to
be run on the colder climates heating the entire home or building.
However if the heat pump is zoned, most likely less than the total
building requires heat at any one time. The zone calling typically
requires less than the total BTU capacity of the heat pump, more
evenly matching the heat pumps capacity to the load of the calling
zone. By doing so this lessens the need for the supplemental heat to
come on, therefore providing substantial energy savings.
For example, a typical home may have a 3 Ton (36,000 BTU) heat
pump. The total heating load for the home at heating design
temperature maybe 60,000 BTUs or even more. Obviously with
only 36,000 BTUs the heat pump can never keep up at design
temperatures. However during milder temperature days, those
above 45°F, the heat pump will often be more than adequate.
Heat pumps most efficient outdoor temperature, typically 45°F to
50°F and the amount of BTUs produced by the heat pump
decreases as the temperature moves further below this temperature.
This is when the supplemental electric resistance heat is often
needed. As the heat pump compressor heats the air, the electric
resistance heaters, located downstream of the heat pump coil, can
come on to supplement the heat pump air. However if the system is
zoned and heating is required for typically only one room or zone,
the capacity of the heat maybe equal to or greater than the heating
load of that zone and even as the output of the heat pump
diminishes as the outdoor temperature falls, the capacity of the heat
pump, (BTU output) is adequate for the zone(s) calling therefore not
requiring the use of the supplemental heating.
The combined use of zoning and heat pumps allows more equally
matched capacity to match the load of those zones calling allowing
the most efficient form of heating to be used. Even during the
colder times when the supplemental electric heat is needed, it is
important to remember that a smaller amount of heating is always
required for one room or zone vs. the whole house. Zoning allows
the heating to be directed only to those areas needing it.
Fossil Fuel Furnaces and Add-On Heat Pumps
When a heat pump is added on to a fossil fuel (gas or oil) furnace,
the sequence of operation is somewhat different that using electric
resistance heating as supplemental heating. The heat pump coil is
often on the supply side of the furnace and both the heat pump and
furnace cannot be run together as the high temperature from the
furnace will damage the heat pump compressor.
All heat pump manufacturers use a fossil fuel kit in order to make
the most effective use of the heat pump and furnace. Simply this
fossil fuel kit uses an outdoor thermostat to switch between the heat
pump and furnace based upon the outdoor temperature or balance
point. The balance point is calculated to determine the most
effective temperature to operate the heat pump vs. the furnace. See
the heat pump manufacturer’s information to calculate the balance
When using a ZONEFIRST System with an add-on heat pump it is
recommended to use the manufacturer’s fossil fuel kit in order
maintain the manufacturer’s warranty. The zone control panel
equipment terminal block will be wired to the thermostat
connections on the fossil fuel kit.
When using any heat pump it is important to remember that with a
limited amount of heating capacity, ZONING is imperative in order
to make maximum use of the heat pump and where the individual
zone load is more closely matched to the capacity of the heat pump.
ZONING VARAIBLE SPEED HVAC
Zoning is a must with the new higher efficency and variable speed
equipment. The only change for varable speed equipemt is to use a
Static Pressure Switch, Model SPS, and a motorized modulating
damper, either the ZDM (square/rectangular) or RDM (round)
damper. This will cost a little more than a barometric by-pass,
however can save time setting up the zoning system.
When only a small number of zones calls the variable speed unit will
ramp up seeing the pressure restriction in the zone dampers. The
motorized by-pass damper and static pressure switch will see this
rise in static and quickly open the by-pass damper to respond to the
increased air movement. As the by-pass opens the variable speed
fan will slow seeing the reduced static and keep the air volume and
noise from being to drafty or noisy.
ZONING COMMERCIAL SYSTEMS
Zoning for commercial and light commercial office buildings makes
even more sense as every person has their own idea of their own
comfort level. The number and 2 complaints in any office is its
either TOO HOT or its TOO COLD. Being able to provide each
office with its own thermostat to control the temperature is a simple
and cost effective way to solve this problem.
Here is a small professional office with 4 zones. One zone would
be the waiting room, reception area, another be the receptionist’s
office, another be the boss’s/doctor’s office, or conference room
and the other smaller rooms be offices or examining rooms all on
the same zone.
In commercial buildings they need for zoning is every increased by
the building exposure when offices facing south and north are
controlled by the same thermostats. Those south facing offices on a
bright sunny day may be needing cooling while offices on the
northern side with no solar gain still need heating. In the morning
the entire building may need heating for a morning warm up and
soon after only the perimeter offices need heating while the interior
core needs cooling. Conference rooms that go for hours unused
can be shut off and then when there is a meeting and the offices are
not being used, the conference room can be controlled comfortably
by having its own thermostat.
ZONEFIRST Zoning Systems can automatically direct the flow of the
conditioned air to those zones needing it and automatically switch
over and provide the opposite mode to the other zones eliminating
the need for on site techs to constant balance and adjust outlets
based upon the ever changing conditions.
Light Commercial and Commercial systems are basically just bigger
residential systems with more capacity. Duct design for these will
almost always include a by-pass system, especially those over two to
three zones. The commercial systems are easier to retrofit as the
false ceiling space if often used as a common return and a great
place to by-pass the air. Wiring is a snap as well as damper
installation all taking place in the false ceiling.
Zoning also helps the landlord in tenant improvement costs by
eliminating the need to ad separate air conditioning units in order to
satisfy multiple tenants on one HVAC system. While one tenant in a
professional suite maybe an attorney and have more normal working
hours, the doctor and dentist with after hours patients on evenings
and Saturdays can still get conditioning by having there own
Commercially, zoning is a very economical alternative to the more
sophisticated VAV and computer controlled HVAC systems. Zone
Control in commercial buildings can range from installing a single
motorized damper and thermostat to control an over-conditioned or
seldom used room or office; such as a conference/training room to
zoning every room on the HVAC System.
There is really little difference in zoning a residential 5 Ton Split
HVAC System and a commercial 5, 7-1/2, 10, 15 or 20 Ton Package
Rooftop HVAC Unit. The system components of the dampers,
thermostats and control panel can be the same in many instances.
The only difference is the commercial rooftop maybe 2 stage
heating and/or cooling and there may be more zones and the duct
sizes may be larger, however the basic operation remains the same.
The Number 1 and 2 complaints in office buildings are people are
either Too HOT…..or Too COLD. Zoning is the less expensive
alternative to the more commercially used VAV Systems and
provides just as good temperature control as those expensive system
for a fraction of the cost.
The design of a commercial zoning is also the same as a residential
system where a by-pass is most typically used. Small commercial
systems that may be just two zones might be able to get away
without a by-pass provided they are only two zones and the ducts
for each zone are larges enough to handle 60% to 70% of the total
Commercial zoning systems of three zones or more will need a bypass.
The by-pass for commercial is often easier as many times the
false ceiling space is used as a common return. Here again it is
always important for the by-pass damper to be located as far away
from the blower as possible. Barometric by-pass dampers can be
used up to 7.5 Tons (3,000CFM). Over 10 Tons (4,000 CFM) should
use a motorized by-pass and a static pressure control.
ZONING versus MULTIPLE UNITS
For years many HVAC Installers and Home Builders have used
multiple HVAC units in order to accomplish zoning. Installing a unit
for the upstairs and another for the downstairs is typically most
common. While affective to achieve zoning, using multiple units is
often an unnecessary and substantially higher added cost.
There are good reasons for using multiple units. They would be that
the load of the home is so big that multiple units are needed.
Homes continue to grow in size and on average homes over 3,000
square feet will typically require more than 5 Tons of cooling. In
these larger homes, multiple units are necessary. Typically trying to
use one central unit also creates long duct runs that may not
properly get the airflow to all areas. Using multiple smaller units can
be more effective however in these instances a zoning system
should still be looked at as each smaller unit could still be subdivided
into small zones.
The case for multiple units is also used in existing homes where addon
air conditioning may be installed and duct work cannot be run
throughout the house. Example a older home without ductwork,
that may utilize steam or hot water heating and air conditioning is
being added. In order to add central air conditioning for both levels
ductwork cannot be run from the basement to the second floor or
from the attic down to the first floor.
However when two units are installed side by side in the same area
and both units add up to less than 6 Tons, this is the case for using
one unit and zoning.
Anytime a contractor can install one unit versus two, or more, the
homeowner wins. Maintenance costs are cut with every unit saved.
Remember the maintenance of air filters, electronic air cleaners,
humidifiers, electrical requirements and the life expectancy of these
HVAC units as well, are unnecessary added costs that can be saved
by using one unit and zoning.
Another reason for using one larger unit with zoning is to
economically obtain zoning and the highest efficiency HVAC
equipment. Often when multiple HVAC units are installed these
units are typically on the lower scale of efficiency. For heating this
is an 80% efficient furnace. For cooling this is a 10 SEER air
The standard way of not living in your whole house all of the time
and mostly occupying one zone of the home at a time proves the
need for zoning. Zoning makes the use of the heating and cooling
more effective by only conditioning those zones being occupied or
that may need it. Therefore typically the majority of the time, even
on a two zone system only one zone is typically calling.
When this occurs the furnace and air conditioner is oversized in BTU
capacity when supplying only a single zone. Due to this many
HVAC Installers will downsize the heating and/or cooling units
based upon the use of zoning. On a two zone system this many not
be recommended, however when using 3 or more zones it is
practical to downsize to the next lower capacity unit.
An HVAC Unit should be sized to heat and cool the home at design
temperatures (the hottest days in summer and the coldest days in
winter). Realistically how often do design conditions occur. Of
course this depends upon where you live. In the milder climates
downsizing is much more of a possibility than in the severe heating
climates of Northern states or the southern cooling climates.
HVAC installers have been quite successful in going to the next
smaller size unit when using zoning. In many cases heating and
cooling units are often oversized, especially on older homes. Doing
a heat loss and heat gain calculation is very important in determining
the size of the heating and cooling unit. Once the loads are
determined for the overall structure, the affect that zoning will have
on the overall load can be determined. Seldom used zones such as
basements or extra bedroom loads can be looked at as not always
needing conditioning at the same time as more often used zones. In
instances where 3 or more zones are used may be advantageous to
downsize to the next smaller size of heating and cooling unit.
NOTE: There are times during extended periods at design
temperatures where will take longer for the zones to satisfy as
the heating or cooling. It is important to note that some zones
would have to be adjusted in order to direct more BTUs to the
more important zones.
Down sizing while also increasing efficiency is often the best way to
go. When considering the alternative of using 2 separate lower
efficiency units in order to zone vs. one high efficiency unit with
zone damper system, the cost difference is negligible if not
sometimes less. Take for example the following scenario and price
out the costs comparison of the example below.
A 100,000BTU Home with 2 Zones.
Two Units @ 80% Efficiency vs. One Zoned 90% Efficiency
2Units 1 Unit
x 50,000 BTU Each (100,000 Total) x 90,000 BTU (Downsized)
x .8 (80% Efficiency) x .9 (90% Efficiency)
= 80,000BTU vs. = 81,000BTU
When you look at the two options you can still get more output,
with higher efficiency and still provide zoning. Combine this with
the potential utility rebates for the higher efficiency and that often
offsets the added cost of the zoning system. Even going to one
80,000BTU, 90% efficiency unit will only decrease the total output
by 10% . In milder climates this can be an approach to lower HVAC
installed costs when quoting against the competition with 2 lower
Applying higher efficiency and zoning to cooling can also increase
the effectiveness of the cooling. Here again if utility rebates are
offered for the higher efficiency this can further offset the added cost
of zoning and possibly add other comfort options.
Typically the more zones you have the wider the diversity in the use
of the zones. This factor can help in downsizing the unit. Take for
example an exercise room that may only be used a hour or two a
day. The family recreation room that is only used for a few hours in
the evening and not when all are sleeping in the bedrooms or eating
in the kitchen dining room zones.
Zoning and high efficiency equipment can increase the overall
energy performance of your home and keep rising energy costs
down to manageable level.
TECHNICAL SUPPORT and HELP
At ZONEFIRST, we make zoning easy. We started zoning forced air
heating and cooling systems in the early 1960s, long before anyone
ever thought you could. It is only relatively recently that the major
OEMs have decided to adopt zone damper systems that more and
more companies have entered the zoning market. ZONEFIRST has
had a role in helping several companies enter the zoning business.
It has been our market and product knowledge over the years that
have set ZONEFIRST apart from the others. Let ZONEFIRST help
you to start installing forced air zoning on every new and retrofit
installation of HVAC Systems. You’ll be providing a benefit to your
customer, differentiating yourself from the competition and profiting
because of your knowledge and expertise in providing Room by
ZONEFIRST offers several methods of support for the installing
contractor through training materials, schools through your local
distributors; on-site training; our website and our
Toll Free Zoning Answer Man at: