Empty nesters discussing finances

The HVAC Zoning Guide for Empty Nesters

If you’re on the road to an empty nest, you’ve got plenty on your mind. You have more free time in your future you’ll find ways to spend. You’re probably a little worried about the kids being out on their own for the first time. One thing you might want to include on that list of things to think about: A recently 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 notice is some of your energy costs will decrease. After all, there aren’t as many people utilizing the resources in your home—from water and food to electricity.

But even though you’re using a reduced amount of energy, that doesn’t mean you couldn’t be more efficient with the energy you do consume. 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 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 regulates the air in your HVAC to focus on specific areas—or zones—in your home. They use dampers to push the air where it’s needed. In homes where temperature control is a struggle, zoning systems can be even more helpful. Rather than deal with just one part of the home that is too hot or cold, zoning allows a custom temperature to be set in the area.

Zoning systems are also helpful for empty nesters who want to save energy and costs each month. With a zoning system, you can create different zones in your home and manage them individually. When the kids are gone, you can set the temperature in their space 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 costs using a zoning system. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you could see a savings of up to 35 percent when you use zoning with a programmable thermostat.

When Should I Ponder Zoning?

Zoning systems are a great fit for empty nesters who want to save energy while keeping their space just as comfortable as before. 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 challenging to control temperatures.

Will Zoning Work with My Existing HVAC?

Generally, zoning works best for houses 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 reap 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 spaces.

Every home’s heating and cooling set up is special. The professionals at J.L. Brady Company LLC can help you choose whether zoning makes sense for you.

An empty nest is a big change—so it’s an ideal time to reexamine your heating and cooling system to see if it’s meeting your needs. At J.L. Brady Company LLC, our goal is to ensure you’re comfortable and your system is operating as efficiently as possible. If you want to hear more on how a zoned system could help, contact us at 309-517-7511 or arrange an appointment with us online.

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