The HVAC Zoning Guide for Empty Nesters

May 07, 2019

If you’re on the path to an empty nest, you’ve got a lot on your mind. You have more free time in your future you’ll need to fill. You’re possibly a little worried about the kids being out on their own for the first time. One thing you might want to include on that list of things to ponder: A freshly emptied nest changes the way you can use energy efficiently.

Once your kids are all packed up and out the door, one of the first things you’ll notice is some of your utility costs will decrease. After all, there aren’t as many people using the resources in your home—from water and food to electricity.

But even though you’re using lower amounts of energy, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be more efficient with the energy you do utilize. With some open spaces, you’re paying to heat and cool spaces you’re not even using. Shutting the doors and vents in those rooms won’t solve that—in fact, you’ll likely use more energy and put a strain on your HVAC going that route. Zoning can help.

What is Zoning?

A zoned heating and cooling system manages the air in your HVAC to target specific regions—or zones—in your home. They use dampers to divert the air where it’s needed. In homes where temperature control is challenging, zoning systems can be even more helpful. Rather than fight with just one part of the home that is too hot or cold, zoning permits a custom temperature to be set in the area.

Zoning systems are also nice for empty nesters who want to save energy and costs each month. With a zoning system, you can make different zones in your home and regulate them individually. When the kids are away, you can set the temperature in their area to use less energy. When they come back to visit, you make a small change and it’s like they never left.

Most importantly, you can save energy and costs using a zoning system. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you could see a savings of up to 35 percent when you use zoning with a programmable thermostat.

When Should I Consider Zoning?

Zoning systems are a perfect fit for empty nesters who want to save energy while maintaining comfort levels. They’re also a smart choice for homes where:

  • Temperature differs dramatically between different floors or spaces in the home.
  • Large windows are a part of frequently used rooms.
  • High ceilings make it hard to control temperatures.

Will Zoning Work with My Existing HVAC?

Typically, zoning works best for residences that have a multi-stage variable capacity HVAC system. This ensures it can operate at peak efficiency—so you can save energy and costs. However, there are solutions for single-stage equipment that also let you reap the benefits of zoning.

And for circumstances that need an even more flexible solution, there are mini split systems that can act as a separate HVAC for difficult to regulate areas.

Every home’s heating and cooling set up is special. The team at Precision Mechanical can help you choose whether zoning makes sense for you.

An empty nest is a big change—so it’s a great time to reevaluate your heating and cooling system to see if it’s meeting your needs. At Precision Mechanical, our goal is to ensure you’re comfortable and your system is operating as efficiently as possible. If you want to hear more on how a zoned system could help, contact us at 605-206-2564 or book an appointment with us online.