Dual Zone HVAC With One Unit

San Rafael

(415) 942-6565

Santa Rosa

(707) 452-3464

Function Of A Dual Zone HVAC System

Over the years, it is probable that you have found yourself in a battle when it comes to setting the thermostat in your home. Maybe one person wants it cooler in their room, but you prefer it warmer in yours. Maybe you feel guilty about all the wasted energy being used to heat or cool half the rooms in your house that aren’t currently being used. Did you know that there is a solution to this? It is known as HVAC zoning. Even a dual-unit system can be zoned if installed properly.

Dual zone HVAC systems are a method that can relieve your thermostat troubles. A dual-zone system utilizes multiple dampers controlled by separate thermostats. By zoning your HVAC system, you can control the temperature of every single zone, so that one room can have heating, some rooms can have air conditioning, and some rooms can have no air going into them at all. This can save tons of money on energy bills because you can control the energy being used in each room of the house rather than having to settle for one temperature for the entire home.

How Do Zoned HVAC Systems Work?

In a dual-zone air conditioner and heater, motorized dampers are placed within the air ducts or air outlets of an HVAC system and then connected together to create a zone. Each zone created has its own thermostat, which connects to a control board that will direct the specific modulating dampers open to give that zone heat or air conditioning directed by that particular thermostat. The number of zones can be created based on different circumstances, but you can usually create them for a number of rooms upstairs and downstairs within a home, and they can all connect to the same HVAC system rather than multiple HVAC systems.

With dual-zone heating and cooling, you can set each room at any desired temperature, and your heating and cooling system will direct the air flow to the correct air outlet zone rather than the entire house. This means multiple people within the house can set their own temperatures, and any room not currently being used doesn’t have to have energy flowing into it as you heat or cool the areas that actually need it.

Benefits Of Dual-Zone HVAC Systems

Cheaper To Run

Having a singular HVAC system with zoning can be exponentially less expensive than having a number of systems for each portion of the house. Another significant savings on energy costs comes with the opportunity to only heat or cool certain rooms of the house rather than using energy to send heated or cool air to parts of the house that don’t need it. This can be especially helpful with a two-story house since the upstairs temperature needs are often different than the downstairs needs.

Different Rooms Can Have Different Temperatures

Another great benefit of an HVAC zoning system is that the entire home does not have to be at the same temperature. You have a strong amount of control over the heating and cooling in your house. Different members of the household can each have different temperatures in their rooms. Everyone can be comfortable based on their customizable heating and cooling temperature preferences for every single zone.

Extend The Life Of Your Heating and Cooling System

A dual zone system is also healthier for your existing HVAC system overall because it will not have to work as hard to bring the entire house to the same temperature or constantly change to match settings for different temperatures as a traditional system does. Having different zones helps the system to only have to focus on whatever zones you select to be heated or cooled, which can extend the life of your unit because it will be exerting much less energy trying to heat or cool an entire house every time the thermostat is reset.

Better Air Quality

One other benefit you can get from a dual-zone HVAC system is that you will have better air quality in your home. Dust particles and various debris can get filtered back through the vents and into your home through the system. The dampers control the air flow in a zoned system so that it only flows back into the specific zone rather than throughout the entire home. So various dirt, lint, pet hair, etc. will not circulate throughout the entire home in a dual-zone HVAC system.

Limitations Of A Zoned HVAC System

High Installation Cost

One possible downside of a dual-zone HVAC system is the cost of installation. The installation process could be pricy, even though it will save money in the long run. There is additional equipment and ductwork required, which will also mean more complex maintenance. A two-stage air conditioner is required, which will save money on energy because it works with a variable-speed blower on the air handler/furnace, but it will have to be installed if you do not already have one, since this is what is compatible with zoned HVAC systems. It is a good idea to weigh the initial cost of installation and the maintenance costs against the energy costs you will be able to save in the future.

Size Limitations

There will also be size limitations; a zone can’t be too small if you want a dual-zone HVAC unit to cycle properly. You would have to combine a bathroom with a master bedroom into the same zone rather than make something as small as a bathroom one zone. That space, or any similarly sized space by itself, would not be an adequate size for the system to heat or cool in one separate zone.

How To Know If A Dual Zone HVAC System Is Right For Your Home

Though there are numerous benefits for every home, it is important to know if it is the right call for your home specifically. Before making the decision to install a dual-zone system, be sure to go over these suggestions of which houses are ideal for these types of HVAC units.

1) Think about space and the type of home you have. Consider how many different rooms you want to heat and cool. If you have a home with multiple levels, this is especially ideal because you can heat or cool all of the different levels separately at a comfortable temperature. Homes with high ceilings can also greatly benefit from having a zoned HVAC system to assist with the problem of when heat rises and gets trapped high up in the home.

2) Consider the size and number of glass windows in your home. If you have larger or more numerous windows, they could be allowing more cold and hot air to escape as well as letting in a greater amount of sunlight, all of which can affect the temperatures of different rooms and which zoning can help regulate.

3) Set up a budget to determine the maintenance and installation costs compared to the money you could save on monthly energy bills and expand the life of your heating and air conditioning systems. Keeping this in mind will let you know which systems are within your budget. The more efficient and energy-saving the system is, the more it is likely to cost.

Installation Process for Zoned HVAC Systems

When it comes to the installation of a new, zoned HVAC system, it is always best to hire trusted professionals to do the job. An HVAC professional will be able to make sure all of the proper electrical connections are made and that all units are mounted as they should be so that the multiple sensors are able to connect with the central control panel. That will control which dampers are open for humidity distribution and meet your cooling and heating needs. It may take some time to install completely since there are many moving and complex parts, especially if the home is larger.

Dual zone HVAC systems can help immensely with monthly utility bills as well as extend the life of your whole system by exerting energy with increased efficiency on a regular basis. You can have different indoor temperatures for multiple zones that are controlled by multiple thermostats, which will allow for greater control over the comfort level in your home. Though it can be expensive to install and maintain, it is very probable that your energy savings will outweigh it over time. There are other options, such as a heat pump or a ductless system, but heat pumps and ductless systems have their own home requirements as well. Whether you want a traditional or dual-zone HVAC system, it is important to do your research to find out what is right for you and your home’s cooling and heating requirements.

Types of Zoned Systems

HVAC systems use dampers, either manual or automatic, that control the amount of air conditioning or heat being delivered to a room or rooms. There is a “door” on the inside of the damper that regulates that airflow. These “doors” can be controlled by a lever found on the exterior of the damper.

Automatic Dampers

Automatic damper zoned systems take advantage of modern technology and operate the zoning automatically through the thermostats in the home. These are able to fully close, fully open, or do partial, depending on how much air the thermostat calls for. The downsides of these dampers are that you can expect to see higher maintenance costs, seeing as both the damper and thermostats in the home will need maintenance and repairs throughout the years.

Manual Dampers

The more affordable of the two options. These dampers require you to go into your attic and crawlspace to manually control the dampers. The benefits of manual dampers are the lack of maintenance required and the cheaper price of the damper itself. These provide the same functions as the automatic dampers, allowing full open, closed, or even partially closed zones.

Increase Your Home’s Comfort By Installing A Zoned HVAC System

John Owens Services, Inc. is your one-stop shop for all HVAC zoning needs. We have been installing zoned HVAC systems with brands like Mitsubishi and American Standard for years. Whether you need a heat pump or a furnace zoned, the professionals at John Owens Services will get you the perfect system for your home. Call today for free estimates!

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Serving Marin & Sonoma Counties

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San Rafael
(415) 942-6565
Santa Rosa
(707) 452-3464



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San Rafael
(415) 942-6565
Santa Rosa
(707) 452-3464