Planning For An Addition: Construction Introduction

How To Zone Your Central Air Conditioning System For Maximum Efficiency

An air conditioning system that is not zoned cools the entire house at the same time. The AC consumes energy to cool all rooms, even the unoccupied ones. Zoning is an effective way of saving energy as you can cool rooms differently. It allows you to set the thermostat in different rooms based on the cooling needs. However, to maximize the efficiency of a zoned central AC, you need to do the following.

Choose the Right Zoning System

There are two main types of zoning, and these are forced air zoning and mini-split zoning. Forced air zoning is a technique that uses dampers to facilitate airflow in different rooms of the home. The dampers are like small valves that open and close to let in conditioned air. Each zone has dampers that are controlled by individual thermostats. This zoning method is usually great for homes with open floor plans.

Single room zoning is used to create zones in individual rooms or spaces in the home that become hot spots during the warm season. This method uses ductless mini-split systems. Single room zoning is viable in homes that don't have a cooling system or those with closed floor plans.

Examine the Load Patterns of the Rooms

When creating your zones, it's crucial to assess the load patterns of various rooms at different times of the day. For example, during the day, the living areas are usually occupied, and the bedrooms left empty. Thus, you need to create zones in such a way that you can regulate the temperatures in the living areas only during the day.

At night, air conditioning will be needed in the bedrooms but not so much in the living room. Therefore, your bedrooms should be zoned differently based on this knowledge. This way, you can avoid cooling bedrooms during the day or the kitchen late at night. Working with the load patterns in the various rooms will improve the energy efficiency of the AC.

Group Open Rooms Together

The whole idea of zoning is to ensure proper airflow between spaces and eliminate hot spots. Thus, if you have open rooms that are adjacent to each other and have air circulating between them, you should zone them together. For example, living areas with an open plan could act as one zone. Don't create different zones between open rooms, as this will cause inefficiencies. 

For example, if you set the thermostat in the living room at 78 degrees Fahrenheit and the open kitchen at 88 degrees, the warmer air in the kitchen will flow into the living room. This will cause your AC to work harder to keep the living room temperatures at the set degrees.

Talk to an AC expert for professional insight into how to create zones for more efficient cooling. To learn more about air conditioning, contact a company like Aggressive Mechanical Contractors, Inc.