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 thing you might want to add to 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 on their way, one of the first things you’ll see is some of your utility costs will decrease. After all, there are fewer people consuming the resources in your home—from water and food to electricity.

But even though you’re using less energy, that doesn’t mean you can’t be more efficient with the energy you do use. With some open areas, you’re paying to heat and cool rooms you’re not even using. Shutting the doors and vents in those rooms won’t solve that—in fact, you’ll likely use more energy and put a strain on your HVAC choosing that option. Zoning is a possible solution.

What is Zoning?

A zoned heating and cooling system manages the air in your HVAC to focus 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 a struggle, zoning systems can be especially helpful. Rather than battle 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 money each month. With a zoning system, you can design different zones in your home and control them individually. When the kids are at their own place, you can set the temperature in their area 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 expenses 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 Ponder 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 good 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 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 solutions for single-stage equipment that also let you earn the benefits of zoning.

And for circumstances that need an even more flexible solution, there are mini split systems that can act as a separate HVAC for difficult to regulate areas.

Every home’s heating and cooling set up is different. The team at AW Heating & Air Conditioning can help you choose whether zoning makes sense for you.

An empty nest is a big change—so it’s a great time to reassess your heating and cooling system to see if it’s meeting your needs. At AW Heating & Air Conditioning, 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 402-318-5351 or schedule an appointment with us online.

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