Empty nesters discussing finances

The HVAC Zoning Guide for Empty Nesters

If you’re on the path to an empty nest, you’ve got plenty 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 put on that list of things to think about: A newly emptied nest changes the way you can use energy efficiently.

Once the children are all packed up and gone, one of the first things you’ll see is some of your utility costs will decrease. After all, there are fewer people consuming 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 shouldn’t be more efficient with the energy you do utilize. With some open rooms, you’re spending money 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 likely use more energy and put a strain on your HVAC going that route. Zoning can help.

What is Zoning?

A zoned heating and cooling system controls the air in your HVAC to focus on specific areas—or zones—in your home. They use dampers to push the air where it’s needed. In homes where temperature control is difficult, zoning systems can be even more helpful. Rather than deal with just one part of the home that is too hot or cold, zoning offers 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 control 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 adjustment and it’s like they never left.

Perhaps the best benefit, you can save energy and expenses 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 perfect fit for empty nesters who want to save energy while keeping up with their home comfort. They’re also a smart choice for homes where:

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

Will Zoning Work with My Existing HVAC?

Generally, zoning works best for residences that have a multi-stage variable capacity HVAC system. This ensures it can run at peak efficiency—so you can save energy and expenses. However, there are options 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 special. The experts at Daniel's Heating & Refrigeration Corp. can help you choose whether zoning makes sense for you.

An empty nest is a big change—so it’s an ideal time to reevaluate your heating and cooling system to see if it’s meeting your needs. At Daniel's Heating & Refrigeration Corp., our goal is to make sure 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, call our experts at 804-372-0313 or book an appointment with us online.

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