Do I Need a Heating Zoning System?
We’re wrapping up a three part series on the topic of temperature zoning systems. Our first post discussed what it is and why it makes sense to seriously consider it. Then the second post covered the topic of whether a zoning system can really save you money. The bottom line: It very likely can. But what you’re probably really curious about is if you need to install one in your home.
Let’s be honest right at the outset: There is no single answer that can apply to everyone. Why? Because there are no two homes exactly alike in and around Natick MA; no two families with the same habits, needs, and circumstances. Do you need a heating and cooling system? That’s easy: Yes. But what do you need to be comfortable? Your answer will be different than that of the next person even if they have a similar house, location and family situation. In the end you will have to decide. BUT make an educated decision.
If you are not building a new home, or about to replace your heating and cooling system then you may hesitate to install a zoning system. And that’s understandable. However, after reading our first two posts, now consider some important factors to determine if a temperature zoning system would help you.
How can I tell if I need a temperature zoning system?
Carefully think about the following questions. If you answer “Yes” to several of them, then you probably need a temperature zoning system.
- Does your house have more than one level (finished basement, second story, etc.)?
- Are some of the levels of your house completely or partially underground?
- Do you frequently notice at certain times of the day that some rooms in your house are cooler in the winter or hotter in the summer compared to most of the house?
- Do some rooms in your house feel “stuffy”?
- Do you have rooms that you rarely use?
- Do some members in your family prefer to set the thermostat warmer or cooler than you like it?
- Do you have a home office?
- Do you have a big TV and often gather with family and friends to watch movies?
Each of the scenarios mentioned above can be addressed with a temperature zoning system installed in your house.
Then there are other factors we have little control over that must also be considered. Each of the following factors (static and dynamic) can create varying temperatures in different rooms of your house, which a temperature zoning system can compensate for:
- Static factors:
- The quality of the insulation in walls and ceilings and windows
- The exposure; a southern exposure results in a room that is generally warmer all the time, and a western exposure results in a room that is warmer in the evenings
- Ductwork quality; insufficient supply or return air flow will result in “starved” rooms
- Dynamic factors:
- Overcast days; cloudy skies make for less solar radiation that is absorbed by the walls and the roof
- Wind and rain blow or ‘wash’ the heat away
- Humidity levels; taking hot showers, or cooking all day for a family gathering adds humidity to those areas of the house
What about “balancing” my house?
Balancing a house is an important, no wait, a necessary procedure so that your heating and air conditioning system can work properly. However even a well-balanced home cannot respond to dynamic factors. Why not? When a central air system is balanced, it will be balanced according to all the factors at that very moment: What was the temperature that day? Was it cloudy? Was everyone in the family at home? Was gramma cooking in the kitchen? As long as all of those factors do not change much then a balanced system should work just fine. However, things are constantly changing in my house, and I’m sure in yours also.
And think of this: Just how exactly is a house balanced? By installing and adjusting dampers in the ducts to cut down slightly on the airflow to some rooms and increase airflow to others. But once they are set, they’re set forever. Well, a zoning system, by definition, is constantly adjusting air flow to particular rooms based on the factors at any given moment.
So what about you? After doing your research and carefully thinking about your circumstances you may decide a temperature zoning system is for you. If you want to talk to someone about it, give us a call at 973-728-8900 or use our online request form to schedule a free, no-obligation visit.
Have a question that just can’t wait? Visit our “Ask an Expert” page and fill out the form. Our resident expert will get back to you quickly with an answer.
Thank you, Mark Lindsay and Son Plumbing and Heating