Empty nesters discussing finances

The HVAC Zoning Guide for Empty Nesters

If you’re on the road to an empty nest, you’ve got quite a bit 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 put on that list of things to ponder: A freshly emptied nest changes the way you can use energy efficiently.

Once the kids are all packed up and gone, one of the first things you’ll notice is some of your bills will decrease. After all, there aren’t as many people using 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 use. With some open rooms, you’re spending money to heat and cool areas 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 that way. Zoning might be just the ticket for you.

What is Zoning?

A zoned heating and cooling system manages the air in your HVAC to narrow in on specific spaces—or zones—in your home. They use dampers to divert the air where it’s needed. In homes where temperature control is difficult, zoning systems can be even more helpful. Rather than battle with just one part of the home that is too hot or cold, zoning offers a custom temperature to be set in the area.

Zoning systems are also useful for empty nesters who want to save energy and money each month. With a zoning system, you can make different zones in your home and regulate them individually. When the kids are gone, you can set the temperature in their room to use less energy. When they come back to visit, you make a small tweak 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 see a savings of up to 35 percent when you use zoning with a programmable thermostat.

When Should I Consider Zoning?

Zoning systems are a perfect fit for empty nesters who want to save energy while maintaining comfort levels. They’re also a great choice for homes where:

  • Temperature differs noticeably between different floors or areas of the home.
  • Large windows are a part of commonly used rooms.
  • High ceilings make it challenging to regulate temperatures.

Will Zoning Work with My Existing HVAC?

Usually, zoning works best for houses that have a multi-stage variable capacity HVAC system. This ensures it can operate at peak efficiency—so you can save energy and costs. However, there are solutions for single-stage equipment that also let you realize 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 Herman Allen Plumbing, Heating & Cooling can help you determine whether zoning makes sense for you.

An empty nest is a big change—so it’s an ideal time to reevaluate your heating and cooling system to see if it’s meeting your needs. At Herman Allen Plumbing, Heating & Cooling, our goal is to ensure you’re comfortable and your system is running as efficiently as possible. If you want to hear more on how a zoned system could help, call our experts at 804-302-6657 or book an appointment with us online.

Back To Blog