Empty nesters discussing finances

The HVAC Zoning Guide for Empty Nesters

If you’re on the road to an empty nest, you’ve got plenty on your mind. You have more free time in your future you’ll find ways to spend. You’re likely a little worried about the kids being out on their own for the first time. One item 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 children are all packed up and on their way, one of the first things you’ll notice 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 lower amounts of energy, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be more efficient with the energy you do use. With some open areas, you’re spending money to heat and cool rooms you’re not even using. Shutting the doors and vents in those rooms won’t solve that—in fact, you’ll probably use more energy and put a strain on your HVAC choosing that option. Zoning can help.

What is Zoning?

A zoned heating and cooling system regulates the air in your HVAC to target specific regions—or zones—in your home. They use dampers to push the air where it’s needed. In homes where temperature control is challenging, zoning systems can be especially helpful. Rather than deal 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 design different zones in your home and manage them individually. When the kids are away, 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.

Most importantly, 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 great choice for homes where:

  • Temperature differs noticeably 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 expenses. However, there are options for single-stage equipment that also let you earn 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 areas.

Every home’s heating and cooling set up is different. The team at Freed Heating & Air Conditioning can help you choose whether zoning makes sense for you.

An empty nest is a big change—so it’s an ideal time to reassess your heating and cooling system to see if it’s meeting your needs. At Freed Heating & Air Conditioning, our goal is to confirm that 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, give us a call at 309-323-9584 or book an appointment with us online.

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