The HVAC Zoning Guide for Empty Nesters

May 07, 2019

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

Once the kids are all packed up and on their way, one of the first things you’ll notice is some of your energy costs will decrease. After all, there are less 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 use. With some open rooms, 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 possibly use more energy and put a strain on your HVAC that way. Zoning might be just the ticket for you.

What is Zoning?

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

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

Most importantly, 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 Consider 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 radically between different floors or spaces in the home.
  • Large windows are a part of frequently used rooms.
  • High ceilings make it challenging to regulate temperatures.

Will Zoning Work with My Existing HVAC?

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

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

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

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