Dampers are an HVAC component that commercial systems have used for years. However, they have also slowly made their way into residential systems. Discover what dampers are, how they’re used, and if you might benefit from an upgraded system.
The Basic Concept of HVAC Dampers
In a standard HVAC system, the circulating fan runs and pushes air out to the entire system at the same time. This is great if your vents are all open because it’ll cause air to circulate around your home. The concept is that this causes the system to more evenly heat and cool your home.
However, in practical application, there are areas of your home that are naturally cooler or warmer than others. This happens because of windows, heat-generating appliances, and even drafts.
Dampers are valves in the system that help direct air. You can use these to restrict airflow to the areas that need less temperature conditioning and more to those with a greater need.
How Residential Zoning Works
Zoning is the practical application of these dampers in your home. When properly installed and set up, these dampers will automatically open and close based on what area needs heating and cooling. Each zone within your home will have its own thermostat controlling the temperature for that area.
When the thermostat signals for the system to start a heating or cooling cycle, it’s also sending a signal to open and close the dampers. Not only does this direct the conditioned air where you need it most, but it also allows you to keep different temperatures throughout your home. Implementing zones in your home may help you enjoy several benefits.
Better Temperature Comfort
The first benefit is better comfort throughout your home. In single-zone homes, you have one thermostat, usually centrally located. While this regulates the temperature well at the site of the thermostat, it often leaves your home’s temperature inconsistent from room to room.
By splitting your home into zones, you get tighter control of each area, ensuring each one is as comfortable as the others. This is especially helpful if you have some areas of your home with larger windows that allow for more radiant heating.
Lower Energy Bills
When your system has to try to heat or cool your entire home every cycle, it uses a lot more energy. It’s like trying to water your garden with a broad spray. The individual areas get a little at a time, but the system has to run longer to effectively treat the entire thing. Longer cycles mean higher energy bills and pushing conditioned air into areas that don’t need it.
When you implement zoning throughout your home, it’s like using a specifically targeted watering can. You only use energy to heat or cool those areas that need it. Combine the zoning with a variable speed system, and you can dramatically reduce your heating and cooling costs.
Zoning also improves efficiency, meaning you have to expend less energy to achieve the same results. This happens because you aren’t trying to heat or cool your whole house during every cycle.
The secondary result is less strain on your system. This results in shorter cycles, so your system experiences less wear. The reduced strain translates into fewer repairs for your system as it ages.
Extended System Service Life
Part of the benefit of having multiple thermostats is being able to reduce the work of your system. When you don’t need certain parts of your home, you can adjust the temperature to reduce the strain, such as warmer in the summer and cooler in the winter. Even about 7 degrees will make an impact on your utility bill.
When to Install Zoning Dampers
Many homes can benefit from the use of HVAC dampers to create zones. However, there are a few situations that make sense to install this upgrade:
- Multi-level homes
- A loft or sunroom
- Basement or attic living space
- High or cathedral ceilings
- Multiple large windows
When it comes to keeping their homes properly heated or cooled, people around Harker Heights have turned to [company_names] for over 20 years. Our award-winning technicians provide heating and air conditioning installation, repairs and maintenance together with indoor air quality solutions and duct cleaning. Call to schedule a consultation with a member of our team to discuss whether HVAC zoning is right for your home.