Is Zone Heating the Right Solution for My Home?
Have you ever walked from one comfortably heated room to another area in your house that feels cold and drafty? If so, you’re not alone. Even if you have a high-quality HVAC system, you’re likely to experience rooms of varying temperatures.
Why does your HVAC system not heat your home at a uniform temperature?
There are a variety of factors at play that impact the temperature of a room. For instance, the direction the room faces and how many windows are present can greatly affect a room’s temperature. It’s a problem we see often at Entek. But fortunately, there is a way to control the variable temperatures throughout your home. It’s called zone heating and we’ll help you determine if it’s the right solution for you.
What is zone heating?
Just as the name suggests, this type of heating divides areas of your home into different zones. Each zone is heated according to its needs, with each area being controlled by its own thermostat.
There are a few ways to integrate zone heating into your home. Electric baseboard heaters, for instance, supply heat to individual rooms and are one way to integrate zone heating.
Another way to employ zoned heating is by installing a zoned HVAC system. If you select this option your Entek service technician will install zone dampers in the ductwork of your home. The unit control panel will then regulate the temperature of each room by opening and closing the dampers according to each zone’s thermostat reading. The good news is that you don’t need to purchase a new system if you’re interested in converting to zone heating. Nearly all forced air systems can be retrofitted for zone control.
So what are the benefits of zone heating?
Obviously, one benefit is increased comfort. You’ll no longer have to put on a sweater when you move from one room of your home to a cooler area. With zone heating, the room temperature can be controlled so that every area of your house is uniformly heated. Also, if you live with other people who prefer a different thermostat setting, zone heating can be a great way to satisfy everyone and keep the entire family feeling comfortable. However, there are a number of other benefits to zone heating as well.
An important benefit is that zone heating increases your cost savings on utility bills. According to the Department of Energy, using zone heating for your home can translate to more than 20% savings on your energy bill. Using zone heating can also extend the lifespan of your equipment. With zone heating, you can choose not to heat areas of your home that are normally not in use, such as your guest bedroom. This can keep your HVAC system from working on overload to heat up all areas of your home.
Using your equipment only when necessary means it will last longer than an HVAC system that’s in constant use. Over time, these savings can really add up.
Zoned heating systems are also more convenient to use. Many of them come with remote controls so that you can adjust the temperature settings from the comfort of your favorite armchair. Zoned heating offers the luxury of modern convenience coupled with increased comfort and cost savings over time.
While zone heating will save you money in the long run, the initial cost is likely to be greater than the purchase and installation of standard HVAC equipment. While it’s certainly a worthwhile economical investment, the extra expense is something to keep in mind when budgeting for a new system. Also keep in mind that the installation of a zoned heating system can be tricky and should only be performed by a certified HVAC technician.
In addition to the upfront cost, a zoned heating system has many more parts than your standard HVAC system. This means that the system may require more maintenance since there are more parts that could potentially malfunction. Repairs are also likely to be more complicated and require professional expertise. In other words, zoned heating systems often need a little more TLC than the standard counterparts, but regular maintenance appointments with your Entek technician will ensure that your equipment is running smoothly and save you the expense of costly repairs.
Is zone heating the right option for you?
Zone heating systems are convenient options for use in multi-level homes. As most people know, heat rises and that’s one reason rooms on different floors can greatly vary in temperature. If your home has additions, such as an attic or basement, you may also benefit from a zone HVAC system. In general, homes with certain architectural features such as large windows, high ceilings, or loft spaces are also likely to greatly benefit from a zone heating approach.
An important thing to remember is that your home should be properly insulated before you install zone heating. If you’re losing energy through leaky windows or other poorly insulated areas, then you likely won’t benefit from a zone heating system. You’ll first have to fix the areas of your home where you’re losing energy. Often times this is sufficient to fix the issue itself. In any case, work with an HVAC professional to make sure your home is properly insulated before installing a zone heating system.
Entek offers h ome performance energy tests to help you assess where you could benefit from energy improvements and savings. We can help make HVAC system recommendations based on your family’s needs and budget. Schedule an appointment for an in-home visit today. We’ll help you determine the best way to heat things up so you’ll be comfy all year long.