If you’re on the road to an empty nest, you’ve got quite a bit on your mind. You have more free time in your future you’ll need to fill. 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 ponder: A recently 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 observe is some of your utility costs will decrease. After all, there are fewer people utilizing 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 spaces, 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 probably use more energy and put a strain on your HVAC choosing that option. Zoning might be just the ticket for you.
What is Zoning?
A zoned heating and cooling system regulates the air in your HVAC to focus on specific spaces—or zones—in your home. They use dampers to focus the air where it’s needed. In homes where temperature control is challenging, zoning systems can be particularly 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 helpful 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 regulate 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 change and it’s like they never left.
Most importantly, you can save energy and costs 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 Ponder Zoning?
Zoning systems are an ideal fit for empty nesters who want to save energy while keeping up with their home comfort. They’re also a good choice for homes where:
- Temperature differs radically between different floors or spaces in the home.
- Large windows are a part of commonly used rooms.
- High ceilings make it challenging to regulate temperatures.
Will Zoning Work with My Existing HVAC?
Usually, zoning works best for residences that have a multi-stage variable capacity HVAC system. This ensures it can operate at peak efficiency—so you can save energy and costs. However, there are solutions for single-stage equipment that also let you reap 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 spaces.
Every home’s heating and cooling set up is special. The experts at Van Haaften Plumbing & Heating can help you choose whether zoning makes sense for you.
An empty nest is a big change—so it’s a great time to reevaluate your heating and cooling system to see if it’s meeting your needs. At Van Haaften Plumbing & Heating, our goal is to confirm that you’re comfortable and your system is running as efficiently as possible. If you want to hear more on how a zoned system could help, contact us at 641-628-3621 or arrange an appointment with us online.