Empty nesters discussing finances

The HVAC Zoning Guide for Empty Nesters

If you’re on the path to an empty nest, you’ve got quite a bit on your mind. You have more free time in your future you’ll find ways to spend. You’re likely a little worried about the kids being out on their own for the first time. One factor you might want to put on that list of things to consider: A newly emptied nest changes the way you can use energy efficiently.

Once the children are all packed up and gone, one of the first things you’ll see is some of your utility costs will decrease. After all, there are fewer people utilizing the resources in your home—from water and food to electricity.

But even though you’re using a reduced amount of energy, that doesn’t mean you couldn’t be more efficient with the energy you do consume. With some open spaces, you’re racking up expenses to heat and cool rooms you’re not even using. Shutting the doors and vents in those rooms won’t resolve that—in fact, you’ll probably use more energy and put a strain on your HVAC going that route. Zoning might be just the ticket for you.

What is Zoning?

A zoned heating and cooling system manages the air in your HVAC to target specific areas—or zones—in your home. They use dampers to focus the air where it’s needed. In homes where temperature control is a struggle, zoning systems can be particularly helpful. Rather than deal with just one part of the home that is too hot or cold, zoning offers a custom temperature to be set in the area.

Zoning systems are also nice for empty nesters who want to save energy and money each month. With a zoning system, you can design different zones in your home and manage them individually. When the kids are gone, you can set the temperature in their room to use less energy. When they come back to visit, you make a small change and it’s like they never left.

Perhaps the best benefit, you can save energy and costs using a zoning system. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you could notice a savings of up to 35 percent when you use zoning with a programmable thermostat.

When Should I Think About Zoning?

Zoning systems are a perfect fit for empty nesters who want to save energy while keeping their space just as comfortable as before. They’re also a good choice for homes where:

  • Temperature differs noticeably between different floors or areas of the home.
  • Large windows are a part of frequently used rooms.
  • High ceilings make it hard to control temperatures.

Will Zoning Work with My Existing HVAC?

Generally, zoning works best for residences that have a multi-stage variable capacity HVAC system. This ensures it can run at peak efficiency—so you can save energy and expenses. However, there are systems for single-stage equipment that also let you earn the benefits of zoning.

And for cases that need an even more flexible solution, there are mini split systems that can act as a separate HVAC for difficult to regulate spaces.

Every home’s heating and cooling set up is distinctive. The team at West Michigan Heating & Air Conditioning Services can help you decide whether zoning makes sense for you.

An empty nest is a big change—so it’s an ideal time to reassess your heating and cooling system to see if it’s meeting your needs. At West Michigan Heating & Air Conditioning Services, our goal is to ensure you’re comfortable and your system is working as efficiently as possible. If you want to hear more on how a zoned system could help, call our experts at (616) 669-3961 or book an appointment with us online.

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