Empty nesters discussing finances

The HVAC Zoning Guide for Empty Nesters

If you’re on the path 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 factor you might want to put on that list of things to think about: A newly 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 observe is some of your energy costs will decrease. After all, there are fewer 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 can’t be more efficient with the energy you do utilize. With some open spaces, you’re paying 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 probably use more energy and put a strain on your HVAC going that route. Zoning might be just the ticket for you.

What is Zoning?

A zoned heating and cooling system manages the air in your HVAC to focus on specific areas—or zones—in your home. They use dampers to focus the air where it’s needed. In homes where temperature control is difficult, zoning systems can be even more helpful. Rather than battle 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 useful for empty nesters who want to save energy and expenses each month. With a zoning system, you can make different zones in your home and manage them individually. When the kids are away, you can set the temperature in their area 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 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 Think About Zoning?

Zoning systems are an ideal fit for empty nesters who want to save energy while maintaining comfort levels. They’re also a great choice for homes where:

  • Temperature differs radically between different floors or areas of the home.
  • Large windows are a part of frequently used rooms.
  • High ceilings make it difficult to control 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 operate at peak efficiency—so you can save energy and money. However, there are systems 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 rooms.

Every home’s heating and cooling set up is different. The professionals at Hillcrest Air Conditioning & Plumbing can help you determine whether zoning makes sense for you.

An empty nest is a big change—so it’s a perfect time to reevaluate your heating and cooling system to see if it’s meeting your needs. At Hillcrest Air Conditioning & Plumbing, our goal is to confirm that 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, contact us at 661-437-3499 or schedule an appointment with us online.

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