Is zoned hvac worth it

In one of my recent works, I discuss how rapidly the HVAC industry is growing and how brilliant minds are making use of the opportunities that abound within the industry by developing new innovative ways to prove the quality of the overall services provided by the HVAC system.

One of the latest addition to a series of HVAC systems is the Zoned HVAC system that divides the home temperature into different zones. This is not the regular type of HVAC system, so it might come with a price that is slightly higher than the conventional HVAC system.

I introduced the system to my friend one time and after a lengthy discussion, all he could say was, “is the Zoned HVAC system worth it?” I know a lot of people are like my friend and because of that, I have decided to provide answers to that question in this article.

What is a Zoned HVAC system

A zoned HVAC system is also known as the zoned system is a form of heating and cooling system that makes use of dampers usually found within ductwork to control and redirect the flow of work to the section of a building (could be residential or commercial). With this type of system in place, homeowners or building managers can easily create different temperature zones with varying temperature levels within a building.

What is the best place to use a zoned HVAC system

Fortunate enough, the Zoned system can be configured to fit every building regardless of the workspace: which means all houses can benefit directly from the zoned system.

The rationale behind the invention of the Zoned system is to accommodate variance in individual tolerance levels when it comes to temperature. Sometimes, the temperature in a particular room may be too cold for a person, but to another, it’s just too warm; so how do we strike a balance? With a zoning system, each need can be accommodated by creating a warm temperature in one room and a cold temperature in the other while also cutting back hugely on energy consumption.

How does Zoned HVAC work

By now you should have grasped the basic concept of a zoning system; with no further delay, I will delve straight into how the whole system work. The first thing you need to understand is that each zoned HVAC has an integral role to play, and they are all dependent on each other.


The zoned system has a motorized damper that is controlled by the zone thermostat (it opens and closes according to the instruction disputed in the thermostat). The damper is located inside the ductwork and it can also be installed at each room’s (or in this case zone’s) air outlet. If a room or zone has multiple ducts, multiple dampers will be installed as well and all the dampers can be controlled together for that single room.


In a zoned system, each zone has its thermostat that regulates the operation of the heating and cooling fan of that particular zone. Each zone thermostat and dampers are connected to a central control panel. This panel also links the thermostat connection attached to the HVAC unit. Since every thermostat is connected to the central control panel, the unit can be controlled by the multiple thermostats connected to it.

How does it work for zoning

If heat is needed in a particular zone, a command will be input (as per requirement) on the thermostat of that particular zone which will send a signal to the central control panel.

Once the central control panel receives the signal, the danger of that particular zone will open while the ones for other zones will remain shut; then activate the heat pump or furnace of that zone which will supply air to the zone calling for heat. If other zones also demand heat, the same process will be repeated with no interruption to the supply of heat to other zones.

Once the heat need of a zone is satisfied, all you have to do is input the instruction on the thermostat and the furnace or heat pump will be automatically shut off.

2 Zone HVAC with one unit

With 2 or dual HVAC with one unit, you can regulate the flow of air to two different zones with one AC unit.

How does 2 zone HVAC work

Start by having 2 zones installed; each working for separate rooms. Once a room reaches the desired level of temperature, the thermostat will reduce the flow of air to that particular zone. This will lead to an increase in the flow of air in the other zone and more temperature will be evenly distributed throughout the building.

How does a multizone HVAC system work

In a multizone system, heat or cooling is supplied to different zones or rooms within a building at varying levels of temperature. Each has a thermostat that controls the flow of air.

Once a command is an input on the thermostat to increase heat, the damper to that particular zone will open up thereby increasing the flow of air to that zone that calls for heat while the dampers to other zones remain shut unless there’s a call for heat.

Pros and Cons of zoned HVAC

Pros of a zoning HVAC system

  1. Occupants of a building enjoy different temperature levels according to their tolerance level.
  2. They help to save up on utility bills because the supply of air to an unoccupied room or zone can be completely shut off.
  3. By restricting the distribution of air to a particular zone, your HVAC system will be working less than it should, therefore, you will be able to use your unit longer than expected.
  4. The temperature level of each room differs, for instance, there is usually more heat in the kitchen than in the bedroom or living room. With HVAC zoning, you become more comfortable because you can reduce the heat in a particular while enjoying the cool air being distributed to other rooms.

Cons of a zoning HVAC system

  1. HVAC zoning system is expensive.
  2. Troubleshooting the system may be a little bit challenging since it involves several zones.
  3. Installing the zoned HVAC system may require you to also install dedicated equipment in each zone.

Should I zone my HVAC system

Yes, you should zone your HVAC system if you can afford it because you can save more on energy bills and also prolong the lifespan of your HVAC system.

Is a dual-zone HVAC system worth it

Yes, the dual-zone is worth it because there are lots of benefits associated with its installation.

Does HVAC zoning save money

Yes, with HVAC zoning, you can have lots of energy bills because your system will be consuming lesser energy.

Can you add zones to an existing HVAC system

Yes, you can add zones to your existing HVAC if it doesn’t have that feature. Refer to the next section of this article to learn about the processes involved.

How to add zones to the existing HVAC system

Highlighted below is the list of all you have to do to convert your existing HVAC to a zoning system.

Install a control panel for the zones

The control panel is the control center where instructions are transmitted to the various components of your HVAC system. I.e they control all other components. It is referred to as the brainbox of a zone system. It facilitates communication of information between the thermostat, dampers, and the cooling and heating unit as per the instruction given to ensure that each component is working together as a system. And must It is to be installed by the unit for easy access and usage.

Upgrade the Thermostat

The thermostat displays the temperature level in different zones in your house. All you have to do is to connect your thermostat to the control panel so that the varying temperature for the different rooms can be easily ascertained. You can also install a smart thermostat to get the job done for you.

Equip your existing ductwork with zone dampers

This is the most crucial part of HVAC zoning system conversion because you have to get dampers that can regulate the flow of air to every zones within your home. The dampers will be installed in the ductwork and will be connected to the zone or room that corresponds with it on the control panel.

After having completed the installation, your zoning component should be fully harmonized. While the thermostat works by controlling the temperature level, the control panel will control the file of air. The damper opens and closes based on the settings of the thermostat and control panel.

How to install HVAC zone control dampers

Follow the steps below to guide you through the steps involved in the installation of ductwork.

  1. Clean the ductwork to get rid of dust, dirt, or allergen buildup.
  2. Determine the best location where the damper can be installed.
  3. Measure the diameter of the preferred location so that you can get the damper of equal size.
  4. Install the damper.

Steps involved

  1. Open up the ductwork.
  2. Make two holes on the opposing ends of the ductwork.
  3. Unfasten the factory attached fastener and use it to fasten the damper to the ductwork.
  4. Use duct tape to seal the two sides.

How much does it cost to zone HVAC

If you are zoning for a single room, it will cost you $3000. But for multiple rooms, you can pay up to $15000.

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