Remember Bugs Bunny and how he would occasionally say, “This means war?” Turning the thermostat up or down by a degree can certainly feel like an act of aggression. This is because, in many homes, especially split-level homes, someone is too hot, someone is too cold and no one is happy.
Even in a home with adequate central air conditioning, mom or dad may find the temperature to be fine in the kitchen or living room, but the basement game room might be so frigid the daughter has to find sweaters for her friends to wear. Upstairs, their son is visiting from college and actually wanting to study at his desk, yet the desk is so hot that he has trouble concentrating. This is a house that might benefit from a zoned HVAC system.
What is a zoned HVAC system?
A zoned HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) system allows the homeowner to set different temperatures in different parts or “zones” of the house. Instead of only using one thermostat for the entire house, each zone can be regulated with its own thermostat, fully customized to the preference of the user. A zone can be as small as a room, as large as an entire floor, or an addition to the house.
How does zoning work?
A common misconception is that, to have multiple zones, multiple systems must be installed. In a home with an existing forced air heating and cooling system (and one thermostat), however, it may be possible to install an automatic damper system into the ductwork, to divide the home into zones.
The better way to set up a zoned HVAC system is with ductless mini-split units. Though these units come in a variety of styles and models, it is basically just a small heating/cooling unit that is mounted high on the wall (or to the ceiling). This indoor air-handling unit (evaporator) is hooked up to an outdoor compressor/condenser unit. Several indoor units can be hooked up to one outdoor unit, and each indoor unit is controlled with its own thermostat. Another key benefit of these systems is that they bring fresh air directly inside and it isn’t recycled through ductwork.
Reasons for switching to a zoned HVAC system
Ductless mini-splits are a great solution for a newly constructed house, and a good retrofit for houses with non-ducted heating systems. They also work well for new additions to a house that lack ductwork or separate buildings like a garage or shed converted into offices or hobby rooms.
Why might you want to look into installing some ductless mini-splits?
Cece Nunn - Jul 30, 2021
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