Can You Have Too Many HVAC Zones Throughout Your Home?

Dividing your home into additional HVAC zones adds flexibility to comfort control. For example, because heat rises, upstairs rooms are often warmer than those downstairs. In a traditional, single-zone house, the thermostat setting you choose to keep the upstairs comfortable may make the downstairs too cold.

Dividing the house into two separate HVAC zones adds individual thermostats and internal duct dampers, plus a central controller that adjusts system airflow to accommodate differing thermostat settings in the two zones. A zoning system maintains two totally independent temperature zones in one house with only a single HVAC system.

When Two Is Enough

More than two HVAC zones in a house can pose a problem, however, if certain components in the original single-zone system are not upgraded. Here’s how it’s possible to have too many zones:

  • If the existing HVAC system still incorporates the original single-speed blower fan, this unit circulates air at just one speed: full blast.
  • A multiple-zone system likely includes one or more zones with limited square footage (a single master bedroom, for example).
  • Because the system blower fan only runs at full output, if other zones happen to be closed, the volume of conditioned air directed into a smaller zone may be excessive.
  • Excess air volume creates high static pressure inside supply ductwork. Bypass ducts can relieve static pressure by bleeding excess air from the supply duct into the return duct. However, cooled or heated air looped directly back to the central HVAC unit substantially lessens the operating efficiency of the air conditioner or furnace.

Staying In the Zone(s)

When more than two HVAC zones are desired, the system should be upgraded from the old-school, single-speed blower fan to an advanced, variable-speed blower. Technology in this new unit allows adjustable fan speed and air volume to meet individual zone requirements, preventing high static pressure as well as reduced system efficiency due to bypass ducts.

For more information about upgrading to multiple HVAC zones in your home, contact Paitson Bros., keeping Wabash Valley homes comfortable and efficient since 1922.

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