The HVAC Zoning Guide for Empty Nesters

May 07, 2019

If you’re on the road to an empty nest, you’ve got quite a bit on your mind. You have more free time in your future you’ll find ways to spend. You’re possibly a little worried about the kids being out on their own for the first time. One factor you might want to add to that list of things to consider: 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 energy costs will decrease. After all, there are less people using the resources in your home—from water and food to electricity.

But even though you’re using less energy, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be more efficient with the energy you do utilize. With some open areas, you’re paying to heat and cool spaces you’re not even using. Shutting the doors and vents in those rooms won’t resolve that—in fact, you’ll probably use more energy and put a strain on your HVAC choosing that option. Zoning is a possible solution.

What is Zoning?

A zoned heating and cooling system controls the air in your HVAC to narrow in on specific regions—or zones—in your home. They use dampers to push the air where it’s needed. In homes where temperature control is a struggle, zoning systems can be particularly helpful. Rather than deal 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 useful for empty nesters who want to save energy and expenses each month. With a zoning system, you can make different zones in your home and manage them individually. When the kids are away, you can set the temperature in their space to use less energy. When they come back to visit, you make a small change and it’s like they never left.

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

When Should I Think About Zoning?

Zoning systems are a great fit for empty nesters who want to save energy while keeping their space just as comfortable as before. They’re also a great choice for homes where:

  • Temperature differs noticeably between different floors or areas of the home.
  • Large windows are a part of commonly used rooms.
  • High ceilings make it challenging to maintain temperatures.

Will Zoning Work with My Existing HVAC?

Typically, zoning works best for houses that have a multi-stage variable capacity HVAC system. This ensures it can function at peak efficiency—so you can save energy and costs. However, there are solutions for single-stage equipment that also let you earn 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 spaces.

Every home’s heating and cooling set up is distinctive. The professionals at Service Max Heating & Air Conditioning can help you choose whether zoning makes sense for you.

An empty nest is a big change—so it’s a perfect time to reexamine your heating and cooling system to see if it’s meeting your needs. At Service Max Heating & Air Conditioning, our goal is to ensure you’re comfortable and your system is working as efficiently as possible. If you want to hear more on how a zoned system could help, contact us at 360-255-5857 or schedule an appointment with us online.