Take a moment to imagine July, August and September in Arizona without air conditioning. That’s a scary thought, right? Air conditioning is so universal and essential, we often take it for granted – until it breaks down. The engineering principles of modern air conditioning, invented by Willis Carrier in the early 1900s, haven’t changed significantly in the last century. Yes, there have been improvements and technological advancements. However, the basics of home cooling have largely remained the same. Most Phoenix homeowners love their air conditioner and as long as it’s working properly, rarely give it a thought.
Air Conditioning – It’s on Full Blast or Completely Off
You come home from work late one night to a dark house. You walk in the front door and flip on the light switch. Suddenly, every light in your house turns on and stays on. Because that’s the way your lights have always worked, you don’t really notice. You simply go about your business unfazed. Later, when you go to bed, you turn off the lamp on the nightstand and every light turns off. That type of arrangement would account for a lot of wasted energy.
Essentially, most home air conditioning systems work this way. You set the thermostat, your AC unit turns on full blast, blowing cold air to every room in your home until the desired temperature is achieved. Then your unit shuts off. The temperature of the entire house is controlled by a single thermostat – usually located in a central area in the main part of the house. Homeowners often complain the temperature is nice and cool in the main living areas, however the master suite or further reaches of the house are too warm.
What Are the Principles Behind Zone Air Conditioning?
Zone air conditioning, as indicated in the name, divides your house into multiple zones and allows you to control temperature settings separately from one part of the house to the next. This is an advantage for many homes where the layout is divided into different wings, or for example, a house where the upstairs rooms are not being used. Many homes experience dramatic increases in temperatures in the rooms facing south and west. If your office is located on the southwest corner of your house and you work at home, you’ve certainly noticed the extra AC required to keep your workplace comfortable. Zone air conditioning allows you to increase delivering cold air where you need it most and to not cool the areas of your home which are not being used, which will help you save money on energy.
How Does Zone Air Conditioning Work?
Electronically controlled dampers placed strategically throughout your system of ducts form the basis of zone air conditioning. Dampers are like large valves that you can turn on or off and control the flow of cooled air throughout your home. The zone dampers also control the heat in wintertime. Multiple thermostats placed throughout the various zones in your home are controlled by a central controlling thermostat.
How Many Zones Are in a House?
There is not set answer to this question. Depending on the design and layout of your home and your current AC system including the ductwork, zones can vary from house to house. Typically, one of our service technicians will come out to inspect your entire HVAC system, come up with a plan and then discuss options and recommendations with you.
What the Advantages to Zone AC?
One of the main advantages of zone AC is it allows you to control the temperature settings more accurately throughout your home. There’s no point in cooling an entire wing of your house if there’s no one using it. Conversely, if you have a family member who wants or needs the temperature to be cooler than the rest of the house, zone AC will make that adjustment. Another compelling reason for installing a zone system is energy savings. Stop wasting energy to cool the areas of your home you’re not using.
Our Service Professionals Can Help You Decide If Zone AC Is Right for Your Home
If you’re considering splitting your home into zones, let one of our friendly service professionals do an assessment of your current HVAC system and present you with options for you to consider. Many Phoenix area residents are enjoying the advantages of zone air conditioning. We can help you decide if it’s right for you. Call us today.