Plagued by Thermostat Wars?

The Answer Guide

Plagued by Thermostat Wars?

Are people in your home comfortable at different temperatures?...
Are you tired of paying to heat and cool unused rooms?...
Would you like individual room temperature control?
You adjust the thermostat and your kids change it. You say it’s too hot and they say it’s too cold. It’s the start of a thermostat war and there’s no compromising. Or is there?

By adding simple air control valves to your duct system that are tied to individual thermostats, everyone can get their way. With zoning, you can increase to air to the computer room or kitchen, reduce it for unused rooms, and let everyone dial in the temperature they want.

A Few Facts

  • Due to the solar load from the sun striking Eastern exposures in the morning and Western exposures in the afternoon, to heating and cooling requirements of different rooms vary throughout the day. Without a zoning system, some rooms are always receiving too much or too little heating and cooling.
  • When the supply of conditioned air is matched to the demand, less energy is used overall. This is why almost all high rise office buildings that face expensive air conditioning bills, take advantage of zoning.
  • Common place in commercial buildings, zoning is growing in popularity for homes.

How much control can I get?
You can get as much control as you want, down to individual control for each room of your house. In most cases, rooms are grouped together based on their usage and exposure to the sun.

Does zoning save money?
Zoning saves money in a couple of ways. It matches the supply of conditioned air with demand, reducing or eliminating over conditioning (i.e., waste).

Also, with zoning, you do not waste money heating and cooling unused rooms. If you have a formal dining room, for example, you probably leave the dining room lights off most of the year. Why leave them on when no one is using the room? Zoning works the same way, though you never completely eliminate heating and cooling, you dramatically reduce it and reduce your utility bill accordingly.

How does zoning work?
We install a damper or air valve in certain ducts. A small electric motor modulates the damper open or closed in response to calls for heating or cooling from a room thermostat. If air conditioning needs are less than the minimum air flow capacity of your comfort system, a special “bypass” damper bleeds off the excess and feeds it back into your system, further reducing the heating and cooling costs.

© 2002 Service Roundtable