The heating and cooling preferences of family members always differ in a home. Likewise, various rooms in a house demand different temperature settings. You could prefer it a little colder, while your partner might prefer it a little toastier. Your basement is often colder than you want, and your loft is just unbearably hot. These are some examples of heating and cooling issues that a normal HVAC system cannot always solve, requiring HVAC zoning.
A multi zone ductless HVAC system delivers personalized heating and cooling to meet the demands of each individual in the home, allowing everyone to enjoy the ideal room temperature.
However, the uses of a multi zone system are not limited to residential settings. HVAC zoning may also benefit commercial organizations by delivering comfort, convenience, and energy savings at a low cost.
What is a multi zone HVAC Zoning System?
A multi-zone ductless heating and cooling system splits your home up into clusters. Each cluster has its own temperature set point and operating mode. A dedicated thermostat for the zone or, in the case of ductless air conditioners, a smart AC controller provides controls for the zone. This gives you greater control over each specific part of your home, increasing your comfort and reducing energy bills.
Consider a two-story house with the living room, kitchen, and hallway on the first floor with three bedrooms and a slightly smaller living room upstairs. The upper half of the house is generally unused during the day and only partially occupied at night. In such a scenario, it makes reasonable to create zones.
In this scenario, the living room, kitchen, and hallway may be combined into one zone, while the upper part can be designated as a separate zone. The first zone is in continuous use throughout the day, so the temperature can be set as preferred, whereas the other zone can be turned off for the majority of the day as it is usually not in use. It will be turned on when it is getting close to bedtime in the evenings.
In this way, you would use air conditioning only when necessary, rather than all day long. This eliminates unnecessary electricity usage and helps to conserve energy.
Advantages of a multi zone HVAC System
Energy savings are associated with HVAC zoning. The primary advantage of a multi-zone ductless heat pump system is the energy-saving it provides. Multi zone heat pumps can reduce air conditioning and heating costs by up to 30%.
This is achieved by using your air conditioning according to your needs and not keeping it running unnecessarily in areas where there is no need. You can cool your home or provide warmth in the heating season with these highly energy efficient types of heat pumps.
Air conditioning zones result in greater comfort for occupants
A zoned HVAC system gives you unparalleled control over the operating modes and temperatures of your air conditioning. The desired temperature and air conditioning mode can be set for each zone.
If one part of the home is too cold and you need to ramp up the heat only in that particular room, you can quickly achieve this with HVAC zoning. In this manner, other rooms of the house do not get extra heat, avoiding uneven temperatures.
Do You Need Zoning?
A zoned HVAC system seems to be attractive, and the benefits are worth considering the installation. Let’s have a look at who can benefit from a modern multizone heat pump system and how to make the most out of it. If you agree with any of the lines below, this system is ideal for you.
- Your home has multiple levels
- You have separate living and shared areas
- The house has elderly people
- You have an area designated for pets
- Your home is unevenly heated/cooled (One part of the home is facing north, the other towards south)
- Using the attic as a living space
- Your home has large unused indoor spaces
- Members of your household are often in conflict about the temperature settings of their rooms
This list is by no means exhaustive, and there are a few other cases in which a ductless multi zone system can be applicable. You can have a detailed HVAC energy audit conducted to get a detailed overview of your zoning requirements.
How Many Zones Do You Need?
Let’s determine how many zones you’d need. The exact number depends on your home arrangement, living preferences, number of occupants, and other factors such as pets and outdoor environment.
The most common zoned system is where the upper and lower floors are a separate zone as the temperature greatly varies between the two floors. Other variations include separating the home into living and common areas. Moreover, each room can be made a separate zone as well, providing completely personalized HVAC controls.
Zoning for Ducted HVAC Systems
A central HVAC system is a prime obstacle for HVAC zoning. The reasons for this are multiple:
Central HVAC systems have a single thermostat for the whole house. Conventional ducted systems use a single thermostat to control the temperature of the entire house. It cannot be used selectively for a specific room, spelling trouble for your energy consumption, especially for times when your home isn’t fully occupied. Not to mention, this is incredibly inconvenient for the occupants. A ductless multi zone system removes this problem and lets you have individual room control so that only the desired area can be heated or cooled.
Separate the living and working areas
If you have some rooms in your home designated for special activities, such as a workshop, or a home gym, then you would want to keep the air separated from the rest of the home. With conventional HVAC systems, this is not possible.
A multi zone unit can come in handy here. By making these special rooms a separate zone, you can ensure that the air from these rooms does not drift to the other areas of your home.
How Can You Make a Zoned HVAC System?
Take for example, a two-story house. When you have created a zone for only the home’s upper floor, the lower floor’s indoor evaporator unit will be off, preventing air from cooling or heating this portion. Now, heating or cooling is only performed on the upper floor. Furthermore, your HVAC system utilizes a reduced amount of energy.
Zoning for Ductless HVAC Systems
A single zone ductless HVAC system is easier to convert to a multi zone HVAC system. With a ductless zoned HVAC system, all your ductless mini split units can be controlled with the tap of a single button, rather than turning each unit on or off individually. How easy is that! Just imagine if there are five different ACs in a building, you need to press a button to turn on all five one by one.
If you have a single zone HVAC system, consult our HVAC professionals beforehand and ask them to thoroughly plan it out for you.