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 possibly 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 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 see is some of your utility costs will decrease. After all, there are fewer people consuming the resources in your home—from water and food to electricity.

But even though you’re using lower amounts of energy, that doesn’t mean you can’t be more efficient with the energy you do consume. With some open areas, you’re racking up expenses 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 choosing that option. Zoning can help.

What is Zoning?

A zoned heating and cooling system controls the air in your HVAC to focus on specific regions—or zones—in your home. They use dampers to push the air where it’s needed. In homes where temperature control is difficult, zoning systems can be particularly helpful. Rather than battle with just one part of the home that is too hot or cold, zoning offers a custom temperature to be set in the area.

Zoning systems are also nice for empty nesters who want to save energy and money each month. With a zoning system, you can design different zones in your home and regulate 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 change and it’s like they never left.

Most importantly, you can save energy and expenses 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 a perfect fit for empty nesters who want to save energy while keeping up with their home comfort. They’re also a smart choice for homes where:

  • Temperature differs dramatically between different floors or spaces in the home.
  • Large windows are a part of commonly used rooms.
  • High ceilings make it hard 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 run at peak efficiency—so you can save energy and money. However, there are solutions for single-stage equipment that also let you realize the benefits of zoning.

And for situations 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 distinctive. The professionals at Strine's Heating & Air Conditioning can help you choose whether zoning makes sense for you.

An empty nest is a big change—so it’s an ideal time to reassess your heating and cooling system to see if it’s meeting your needs. At Strine's Heating & Air Conditioning, our goal is to ensure 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 717-383-4479 or book an appointment with us online.

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