Empty nesters discussing finances

The HVAC Zoning Guide for Empty Nesters

If you’re on the road to an empty nest, you’ve got plenty on your mind. You have more free time in your future you’ll need to fill. You’re probably 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 recently 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 observe 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 lower amounts of energy, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be more efficient with the energy you do consume. With some open rooms, you’re paying to heat and cool rooms you’re not even using. Shutting the doors and vents in those rooms won’t fix that—in fact, you’ll probably use more energy and put a strain on your HVAC choosing that option. Zoning can help.

What is Zoning?

A zoned heating and cooling system controls the air in your HVAC to target specific spaces—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 especially helpful. Rather than battle with just one part of the home that is too hot or cold, zoning allows a custom temperature to be set in the area.

Zoning systems are also useful for empty nesters who want to save energy and money each month. With a zoning system, you can make different zones in your home and regulate 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 adjustment 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 see a savings of up to 35 percent when you use zoning with a programmable thermostat.

When Should I Consider Zoning?

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

  • Temperature differs radically between different floors or areas of the home.
  • Large windows are a part of commonly used rooms.
  • High ceilings make it difficult to maintain temperatures.

Will Zoning Work with My Existing HVAC?

Generally, zoning works best for homes 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 rooms.

Every home’s heating and cooling set up is different. The team at Alan Heating Air Conditioning, Inc. can help you choose 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 Alan Heating Air Conditioning, Inc., our goal is to confirm that you’re comfortable and your system is operating as efficiently as possible. If you want to hear more on how a zoned system could help, call our experts at 630-833-1100 or arrange an appointment with us online.

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