Empty nesters discussing finances

The HVAC Zoning Guide for Empty Nesters

If you’re on your way to an empty nest, you’ve got quite a bit on your mind. You have more free time in your future you’ll want to figure out things to do. You’re probably 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 think about: A newly emptied nest changes the way you can use energy efficiently.

Once the kids are all packed up and out the door, one of the first things you’ll notice is some of your bills 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 less energy, that doesn’t mean you couldn’t be more efficient with the energy you do utilize. With some open areas, you’re racking up expenses to heat and cool areas you’re not even using. Shutting the doors and vents in those rooms won’t resolve that—in fact, you’ll possibly use more energy and put a strain on your HVAC that way. Zoning might be just the ticket for you.

What is Zoning?

A zoned heating and cooling system controls the air in your HVAC to focus on specific spaces—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 particularly 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 costs each month. With a zoning system, you can make different zones in your home and regulate 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 see a savings of up to 35 percent when you use zoning with a programmable thermostat.

When Should I Ponder 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 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?

Usually, 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 earn 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 areas.

Every home’s heating and cooling set up is special. The experts at Kowalski Heating, Cooling & Plumbing can help you decide whether zoning makes sense for you.

An empty nest is a big change—so it’s a great time to reassess your heating and cooling system to see if it’s meeting your needs. At Kowalski Heating, Cooling & Plumbing, our goal is to make sure 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 724-370-0141 or schedule an appointment with us online.

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