Empty nesters discussing finances

The HVAC Zoning Guide for Empty Nesters

If you’re on the path to an empty nest, you’ve got plenty on your mind. You have more free time in your future you’ll want to figure out things to do. You’re likely a little worried about the kids being out on their own for the first time. One item 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 your kids are all packed up and out the door, one of the first things you’ll observe is some of your utility 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 lower amounts of energy, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be more efficient with the energy you do utilize. With some open rooms, 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 likely use more energy and put a strain on your HVAC going that route. Zoning is a possible solution.

What is Zoning?

A zoned heating and cooling system regulates the air in your HVAC to narrow in 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 challenging, 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 nice for empty nesters who want to save energy and costs each month. With a zoning system, you can design different zones in your home and control them individually. When the kids are away, 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 money using a zoning system. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you could experience a savings of up to 35 percent when you use zoning with a programmable thermostat.

When Should I Think About Zoning?

Zoning systems are an ideal fit for empty nesters who want to save energy while keeping their space just as comfortable as before. They’re also a smart choice for homes where:

  • Temperature differs noticeably between different floors or rooms in the home.
  • Large windows are a part of commonly used rooms.
  • High ceilings make it hard 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 run at peak efficiency—so you can save energy and costs. However, there are systems for single-stage equipment that also let you reap the benefits of zoning.

And for cases 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 Air-Right Energy Design, Inc. can help you determine whether zoning makes sense for you.

An empty nest is a big change—so it’s a great time to reexamine your heating and cooling system to see if it’s meeting your needs. At Air-Right Energy Design, Inc., our goal is to make sure 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, call our experts at 703-260-1148 or arrange an appointment with us online.

Back To Blog