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 need to fill. You’re probably a little worried about the kids being out on their own for the first time. One thing you might want to put on that list of things to think about: A recently emptied nest changes the way you can use energy efficiently.

Once the children are all packed up and out the door, one of the first things you’ll see is some of your energy costs will decrease. After all, there are less 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 can’t be more efficient with the energy you do consume. With some open spaces, you’re spending money to heat and cool areas you’re not even using. Shutting the doors and vents in those rooms won’t fix that—in fact, you’ll possibly use more energy and put a strain on your HVAC that way. Zoning is a possible solution.

What is Zoning?

A zoned heating and cooling system controls the air in your HVAC to target specific regions—or zones—in your home. They use dampers to focus the air where it’s needed. In homes where temperature control is a struggle, zoning systems can be particularly 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 useful 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 control them individually. When the kids are at their own place, you can set the temperature in their room 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 money 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 Consider Zoning?

Zoning systems are an ideal fit for empty nesters who want to save energy while keeping up with their home comfort. They’re also a great choice for homes where:

  • Temperature differs dramatically between different floors or rooms in the home.
  • Large windows are a part of commonly used rooms.
  • High ceilings make it difficult to maintain temperatures.

Will Zoning Work with My Existing HVAC?

Usually, 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 expenses. However, there are options for single-stage equipment that also let you reap 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 spaces.

Every home’s heating and cooling set up is distinctive. The team at Hopper Heating and Air 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 Hopper Heating and Air, our goal is to ensure 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 704-233-7363 or book an appointment with us online.

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