Empty nesters discussing finances

The HVAC Zoning Guide for Empty Nesters

If you’re on the road to an empty nest, you’ve got a lot on your mind. You have more free time in your future you’ll want to figure out things to do. You’re possibly a little worried about the kids being out on their own for the first time. One factor you might want to add to that list of things to think about: A recently emptied nest changes the way you can use energy efficiently.

Once your kids are all packed up and out the door, one of the first things you’ll notice is some of your energy costs will decrease. After all, there are fewer people utilizing 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 couldn’t be more efficient with the energy you do use. With some open spaces, you’re spending money to heat and cool rooms you’re not even using. Shutting the doors and vents in those rooms won’t fix 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 narrow in 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 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 nice for empty nesters who want to save energy and expenses each month. With a zoning system, you can create 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 adjustment 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 Consider Zoning?

Zoning systems are a great 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 radically between different floors or rooms in the home.
  • Large windows are a part of frequently used rooms.
  • High ceilings make it difficult to regulate 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 function at peak efficiency—so you can save energy and money. However, there are solutions for single-stage equipment that also let you earn 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 spaces.

Every home’s heating and cooling set up is special. The team at McNatt Inc can help you decide 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 McNatt Inc, 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, give us a call at 361-247-0605 or schedule an appointment with us online.

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