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First Choice Heating & Cooling Blog

What Zone Control Does for an HVAC System

worker-with-ductsZone controls give you more power to control how your house is heated and cooled. An HVAC system without zone controls provides general heating and cooling to the house whenever it is turned on. Each room vent in the house sends out conditioned air, regardless of whether the rooms require it or not. You’re familiar with this system because you probably have one like it. On a cold day in winter, when you turn the furnace on for warmth, all the rooms in the house receive heat blown through the ventilation system.

This is convenient—but you can probably already tell why it isn’t always for the best. Would you want an electrical system where flipping a single light switch turns on every light in the house? Of course not, that’s wasteful. Do you need to accept the same type of operation from your HVAC system? Not when you have zone controls.

The Basics of What Zone Controls Do

Imagine the ductwork in your house. It starts at the HVAC cabinet, where the blower sends air through the furnace or AC and then into a branching series of ducts. These ducts travel through the walls and the attic to room vents. In order to stop this conditioned air from reaching all the rooms at once, zone controls seal off branches of the ductwork with electronically controlled dampers. A central thermostat or satellite thermostats in the rooms send signals to seal off airflow to zone that aren’t making heating or cooling requests. People in the house can adjust the dampers based on their individual preferences through the room thermostats, or you can set the system from the central thermostat and program it based on how people use the rooms in the house.

Reducing Energy Use

Simply cutting off duct sections with dampers doesn’t mean the HVAC system will automatically use less energy. The conditioned air won’t reach the rooms, but the furnace or AC will still work at normal energy levels. The way zone control lowers energy use is by opening up other dampers to redirect the air to other places, which not only ensures there’s no pressure spike in the ductwork but also allows the HVAC system to run for less time as the air is channeled to only the zones that need comfort. A variable-speed AC and multi-stage furnace make it even easier for the zone control to cut down on energy use: the heater and AC will change capacity based on how many zones are making requests.

Other Benefits

Zone control helps a home in other ways. It stops “thermostat wars” between household members over temperature settings, creates a more even spread of comfort around the rooms, and matches room function to the appropriate temperature (a cooler kitchen, a warmer baby’s room, for example).

To turn your HVAC in Brighton, MI into a zone controlled system, speak to our technicians. We may be able to retrofit your current system, or we may recommend a new HVAC installation that will work best with zone controls.

First Choice Heating & Cooling serves Fenton, Linden, Holly, and the surrounding areas. If your home have a voice … it would call First Choice!

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