Many of our customers lament a common winter heating issue: the upper level of their home overheats, while the downstairs is an icebox. The simple fact that heat rises makes this problem difficult to address, but there is a way to more appropriately and effectively heat different areas of your home: a zoned heating system. A zoned heating system gives a homeowner the ability to distribute heat throughout the home strategically while still enjoying a comfortable indoor environment.
Zoned Heating Systems: The Basics
In lieu of one central thermostat, a zoned heating system can be accessed via multiple thermostats throughout the home. You can adjust each thermostat to a different temperature, giving you a great deal of control over the indoor environment in your home both day and night. This is achieved by the presence of zone valves, which as Donna Boyle Schwartz writing for BobVila.com explains, “[control] the flow of water in a hydronic heating system. Inside the valve, an actuator opens and closes the valve based on the thermostat setting for that zone. Zone valves are available in two- or three-way valve configurations and in various connection types… allowing homeowners to customize the system for different floor plans and different-size zones.” Zone valves, she continues, can be used with a large variety of hydronic, or hot water, heating systems. But fear not: if you have a forced air system, dampers installed in ductwork can produce the same effect, making a zoned heating system a possibility for your home, too.
Zoned Heating Systems: The Benefits
While it is obvious that greater control over the temperature of each zone of your home will lead to a more comfortable indoor environment, what may be less obvious is the energy savings that a zoned heating system can bring. By controlling the flow of hot air and directing it only toward the areas of your home that really need it, you will use less energy and lessen the burden on your HVAC system. Both of these benefits add up to long-term savings, whether you are looking at your lowered energy bill or enjoying a well-functioning HVAC system that lasts longer and requires fewer service calls repairs.