The HVAC Zoning Guide for Empty Nesters

May 07, 2019

If you’re on your way to an empty nest, you’ve got a lot on your mind. You have more free time in your future you’ll need to fill. You’re possibly 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 ponder: A freshly emptied nest changes the way you can use energy efficiently.

Once your kids are all packed up and out the door, one of the first things you’ll observe is some of your bills will decrease. After all, there aren’t as many 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 couldn’t be more efficient with the energy you do consume. With some open areas, you’re paying to heat and cool areas 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 going that route. Zoning might be just the ticket for you.

What is Zoning?

A zoned heating and cooling system regulates 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 difficult, zoning systems can be even more helpful. Rather than battle 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 helpful 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 manage them individually. When the kids are at their own place, you can set the temperature in their area to use less energy. When they come back to visit, you make a small tweak 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 experience 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 great fit for empty nesters who want to save energy while keeping up with their home comfort. They’re also a great choice for homes where:

  • Temperature differs dramatically between different floors or rooms in the home.
  • Large windows are a part of regularly 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 run at peak efficiency—so you can save energy and costs. However, there are solutions for single-stage equipment that also let you realize 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 spaces.

Every home’s heating and cooling set up is distinctive. The experts at Thurston Heating & Air Conditioning can help you determine whether zoning makes sense for you.

An empty nest is a big change—so it’s a perfect time to reevaluate your heating and cooling system to see if it’s meeting your needs. At Thurston Heating & Air Conditioning, our goal is to confirm that 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, contact us at 308-624-3485 or schedule an appointment with us online.