Empty nesters discussing finances

The HVAC Zoning Guide for Empty Nesters

If you’re on your way 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 thing you might want to add to that list of things to consider: 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 see is some of your utility costs will decrease. After all, there aren’t as many people using the resources in your home—from water and food to electricity.

But even though you’re using less energy, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be more efficient with the energy you do use. With some open spaces, you’re spending money to heat and cool spaces you’re not even using. Shutting the doors and vents in those rooms won’t fix that—in fact, you’ll likely use more energy and put a strain on your HVAC that way. 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 divert the air where it’s needed. In homes where temperature control is challenging, zoning systems can be especially helpful. Rather than fight 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 nice for empty nesters who want to save energy and money each month. With a zoning system, you can create different zones in your home and manage them individually. When the kids are at their own place, you can set the temperature in their space 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 money using a zoning system. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you could notice a savings of up to 35 percent when you use zoning with a programmable thermostat.

When Should I Ponder 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 radically between different floors or rooms in the home.
  • Large windows are a part of commonly used rooms.
  • High ceilings make it hard to control temperatures.

Will Zoning Work with My Existing HVAC?

Generally, zoning works best for houses 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 systems for single-stage equipment that also let you realize the benefits of zoning.

And for circumstances 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 professionals at Kapaun & Brown 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 reexamine your heating and cooling system to see if it’s meeting your needs. At Kapaun & Brown Inc., 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, give us a call at 641-753-3563 or book an appointment with us online.

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