December 21st, 2022

Cosmo here! The other day I was zoning out, (everybody does from time to time, even dogs), and it reminded me of zoning systems for HVAC installations! 
Not all houses are created equal, and not all areas of your home are created equal when it comes to temperature. Do you have a bedroom that’s located directly over the garage? Maybe you’ve noticed that it’s the hottest upstairs room during the summer and the coldest one during the winter. Downstairs, you might be noticing a similar trend in your sunroom.  

Drafts from doors and windows, lighting, and other factors all impact a room’s ability to maintain a desirable temperature. That’s where zoning can help.  In particular, two-story homes with a single zone of heating or air conditioning tend to be warmer on the second floor. The second floor is also where the bedrooms are usually located, so to keep it comfortable up there, you have to overcool the downstairs. In the winter, the problem is reversed, and you have to overheat the upstairs to keep the downstairs comfortable. Instead of sending equal amounts of conditioned air to each duct, zoning in a ducted HVAC system uses dampers to allow or restrict airflow.

What are HVAC Dampers?

You can think of a damper as a valve within a duct. Depending on whether it’s open or closed, you can use a damper to allow or restrict the amount of conditioned air being sent to individual zones. Unoccupied areas that are already at the desired temperature will stop receiving conditioned air when the dampers are closed. This helps create optimal air distribution and increased system efficiency. Dampers can be retrofitted to your current HVAC system or can be part of a new installation.  Damper control is achieved automatically by thermostat control. When you set your thermostat, it instructs its HVAC zone to bring that area of the house up or down to that temperature. Once it does, it will trigger the dampers to close, so that airflow is restricted through the supply vent. Instead, the conditioned air will continue to flow to the zones that need it, so these other areas can reach a comfortable temperature more efficiently.

Zoning for Ductless Heating & Cooling Systems

Another context where you might hear about zoning relates to ductless heating and cooling systems. In this case, one or more mini-split units will control different areas of the house (one or more rooms or locations) called zones. Similar to zoning for a ducted system, this allows you to achieve pinpoint temperature control for each zone. Unlike a ducted system though, each ductless head operates independently of the other ductless units, and is not part of a central system. 

Zoning for HVAC Installations in Mercer County, NJ

Can your home benefit from AC zoning? If so, you may be wondering whether you’re better off incorporating dampers and a zoning system into your central air system, or supplementing your central air system with one or more ductless units. You can get an expert’s opinion on zoning from SG Heating & Air Conditioning LLC. Our owner, engineer and technicians are all trained in building science and experienced in HVAC installation. We would be happy to help you choose the system upgrade that will best suit your home’s unique needs. To learn more and schedule a free estimate, call us at 609-448-1273 or send us a message!

As you can see, if your HVAC system doesn’t let you control the temperatures of individual zones, it can put a damper on things. Fortunately, with greater temperature control, you’ll find your comfort zone! Woof! 

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