Empty nesters discussing finances

The HVAC Zoning Guide for Empty Nesters

If you’re on the road to an empty nest, you’ve got a lot on your mind. You have more free time in your future you’ll find ways to spend. You’re possibly 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 ponder: A newly emptied nest changes the way you can use energy efficiently.

Once the children are all packed up and out the door, one of the first things you’ll notice is some of your bills 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 a reduced amount of energy, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be more efficient with the energy you do use. With some open rooms, you’re paying to heat and cool areas you’re not even using. Shutting the doors and vents in those rooms won’t fix that—in fact, you’ll likely use more energy and put a strain on your HVAC that way. Zoning can help.

What is Zoning?

A zoned heating and cooling system controls the air in your HVAC to narrow in on specific areas—or zones—in your home. They use dampers to divert the air where it’s needed. In homes where temperature control is challenging, zoning systems can be especially helpful. Rather than deal 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 helpful for empty nesters who want to save energy and expenses each month. With a zoning system, you can design different zones in your home and manage them individually. When the kids are at their own place, you can set the temperature in their room to use less energy. When they come back to visit, you make a small change and it’s like they never left.

Perhaps the best benefit, you can save energy and money using a zoning system. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you could notice a savings of up to 35 percent when you use zoning with a programmable thermostat.

When Should I Consider 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 good choice for homes where:

  • Temperature differs radically between different floors or areas of the home.
  • Large windows are a part of frequently used rooms.
  • High ceilings make it challenging to control 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 function at peak efficiency—so you can save energy and money. However, there are solutions for single-stage equipment that also let you earn 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 rooms.

Every home’s heating and cooling set up is distinctive. The team at Forster Heating can help you choose whether zoning makes sense for you.

An empty nest is a big change—so it’s a perfect time to reevaluate your heating and cooling system to see if it’s meeting your needs. At Forster Heating, our goal is to ensure you’re comfortable and your system is operating as efficiently as possible. If you want to hear more on how a zoned system could help, give us a call at 530-885-8081 or arrange an appointment with us online.

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