Empty nesters discussing finances

The HVAC Zoning Guide for Empty Nesters

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 probably a little worried about the kids being out on their own for the first time. One item you might want to include on that list of things to consider: A recently emptied nest changes the way you can use energy efficiently.

Once the kids are all packed up and gone, one of the first things you’ll notice is some of your energy costs will decrease. After all, there are less 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 shouldn’t be more efficient with the energy you do consume. With some open rooms, you’re spending money to heat and cool spaces you’re not even using. Shutting the doors and vents in those rooms won’t resolve that—in fact, you’ll likely use more energy and put a strain on your HVAC that way. Zoning is a possible solution.

What is Zoning?

A zoned heating and cooling system regulates the air in your HVAC to focus on specific areas—or zones—in your home. They use dampers to divert the air where it’s needed. In homes where temperature control is a struggle, zoning systems can be even more helpful. Rather than deal 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 manage 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 change and it’s like they never left.

Perhaps the best benefit, you can save energy and costs 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 great fit for empty nesters who want to save energy while maintaining comfort levels. They’re also a great choice for homes where:

  • Temperature differs dramatically between different floors or areas of the home.
  • Large windows are a part of frequently used rooms.
  • High ceilings make it challenging to regulate temperatures.

Will Zoning Work with My Existing HVAC?

Usually, zoning works best for houses that have a multi-stage variable capacity HVAC system. This ensures it can function at peak efficiency—so you can save energy and costs. However, there are options for single-stage equipment that also let you reap the benefits of zoning.

And for cases 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 team at West Jefferson Plumbing and Heating, Inc. can help you determine whether zoning makes sense for you.

An empty nest is a big change—so it’s a perfect time to reexamine your heating and cooling system to see if it’s meeting your needs. At West Jefferson Plumbing and Heating, Inc., 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, contact us at 614-450-1575 or schedule an appointment with us online.

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