How Zoning a Home Heating and Cooling System Works

Posted October 7, 2014

To understand how zoning works in keeping your home comfortable, it helps to think of how your home's lighting system works. There is isn't a single light switch that controls every room in your home, but many switches that provide precise control only where it's needed at any given time or place. In the same way having only one thermostat controlling the heating or cooling for the entire house provides little control and wastes energy.

Zoning simply provides greater control over a home's heating and cooling system. The first part of a zoning system is a series of motorized dampers that open and close based on the needs of each zone. These dampers are inserted into air ducts or can be installed at the air outlet for each room or zone. Multiple dampers can be controlled together for a single zone if multiple air ducts serve a single room or zone.

The brains of the home zoning system is the Main control panel and thermostats. Most homes have a single thermostat. In a zoned home as new zones are added, a thermostat to control the heating, cooling and fan operation is added to each individual zone. These zone thermostats and dampers are connected to a central control panel which is connected to the home's HVAC Unit. Instead of using a traditional central thermostat, the zoning control panel allows the unit to be managed by multiple thermostats.

As each thermostat calls for a temperature change, the panel will open or close the dampers for a zone, while activating the furnace or air conditioner to supply air to only that zone. When all zones thermostats are within their preferred range, the panel will shut off the furnace or air conditioner.

Have questions about home zoning or your heating and air conditioning system? Call ABC Plumbing we're here to help.

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