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How Does AC Zoning Work? … In order to control the amount of cold air directed into each zone, a zoned AC system uses electronic dampers. Dampers are like little valves strategically placed throughout your ductwork, controlling the amount of cold air that flows into a room.
A dual zone air conditioning system is a network of thermostats and duct dampers that regulates the amount of cooled air each zone (one or more rooms) receives throughout the day.
You need either two smaller units or one larger unit to run the entire house. The added cost of the second unit may be offset by the energy savings. Much depends on your house and how you use the air conditioner.
With a zoned system, one unit provides heating and cooling to multiple areas of your home. In a dual-unit system, you have two totally separate units that each operate a single zone with separate, unconnected thermostats.
Zoned air conditioning is a setup where your cooling system treats different rooms, or zones in your home, individually. Here, you control the temperature of each zone separately. That’s different than most central AC setups where one thermostat regulates the entire home.
Two units allow for an easier time balancing the desired temperature in your home. Generally, one area of your home will be warmer or more difficult to cool than another. In a two-story home, the upstairs area is often warmer, as warm air rises. Having two AC units in your home can help balance out the temperature.
Many people divide their home into two zones — upstairs and downstairs. But each HVAC system can be set up to accommodate multiple zones. Each room can even function as its own zone. Which can be beneficial, especially if everyone in your home prefers a different temperature in their bedroom while they sleep.
The extra heat downstairs will combat the cold that settles on the lower levels. Having a slightly cooler setting upstairs will not make it uncomfortably cold, since you will have rising heat to help keep the area warm.
If you have window units, and you primarily stay in the lower level of your home, there is nothing wrong with turning the AC off upstairs. Heat rises, so turning off the AC on the upper floor (or floors) will not affect your comfort level downstairs, nor will it affect how much the units downstairs have to work.
Redirect airflow to the second floor If you have a basement, you can locate your HVAC system’s dampers on the ducts leading to the first floor and close them halfway down or more. This will push more airflow up to the second floor.
Though the lifespan of a home air conditioner varies based on many factors, those that are well-maintained should last 10 to 15 years. And by completing regular checkups and repairs – both big and small – many systems can last even longer.
Many homeowners have leaky ductwork and do not even realize it. When the ductwork isn’t sealed properly, positive pressure is created. This causes the air to flow to areas of the home that aren’t ideal, such as the attic and crawl spaces, rather than the downstairs and upstairs floors.
|Number of Zones||New Construction||Existing Home|
|Two Zones||$1,500 to $1,850||$2,000 to $2,500|
|Three Zones||$1,850 to $2,100||$2,200 to $2,850|
|Four Zones||$2,000 to $2,500||$2,650 to $3,300|
|Additional Zones||$225 to $350 per zone||$335 to $500 per zone|