Imagine having a single light switch in a single room that activates every light in your house.
Sounds silly and wasteful, doesn’t it?
But that’s exactly how most of us use our air conditioning. There’s only one thermostat, a vent in every room, all blowing costly, conditioned air whether you need them to or not.
Turns out, your Atlanta HVAC company has a solution for you.
How To Get More Out of Your AC System
The answer to this wasteful scenario is the zoned duct system, which is like having a light switch (or thermostat) in every room (or zone) in your house.
What Is a Zoned AC System?
In a zoned system, you can condition those rooms that you want, and not air-condition the others. Every zone has its designated thermostat. Dampers are motorized and installed inside the outlets into each room. These will open and close like a valve in accordance with how they’ve been set.
These zones and dampers are all hooked into a central panel that monitors each thermostat. The central mechanism will then control each damper. Those dampers with thermostats that call for air conditioning or heating are opened. Those dampers with thermostats that are deactivated – stay closed.
Zone systems are widely held to increase the efficiency of an air conditioning system. In two story houses they’re often standard.
The Disagreement About Bypass Ducts
However, there is one point of contention, and that’s the bypass damper.
The bypass damper is an extra duct that allows air from open damper zones to enter the return air duct. The thinking is that this will relieve pressure in the duct system when parts of it are closed, and a build up of pressure in a narrow duct space would negatively impact the system.
But there’s fierce disagreement. In 2014 the state of California banned them, claiming they allow too much air to escape and lead to more energy waste, rather than less. Certain members of the HVAC community, who say it’s punishing every technician for those who may install less than adequate systems, have rebutted this move and say the testing wasn’t up to par.
Is It Worthwhile to Install a Zone System?
There is a question about how worthwhile it is to install zoned systems, and the answer you receive depends on whom you ask.
Many experts say that zoned systems are too often not installed properly. When this happens, too much air is pumped back into the system and forced against the existing equipment – essentially you’re forcing all of the air through half of the ducts (because you’ve closed some of them thanks to the zone system.)
This creates noise and can overheat furnaces while freezing air conditioners. The bypass relieves the pressures that create this problem, but with a loss of efficiency.
Get Good Help
However, these issues, while complicated, can be surmounted by competent and thoughtful installation. You need to choose the right installer, who can include having a two-stage panel and system that is designed with the ability to withstand the pressure of limited ducts, and create truly efficient system.
At best, your upstairs zone can provide enough cooling to keep your entire house air-conditioned.
Get your ducts inspected and check out what it takes to get your own zone system with Anytime, call us 24/7.