What is a zone system?
Zoning Systems separate your home’s duct work into different comfort areas, allowing for independent temperature control in distinct areas that require specific temperature conditioning.
For example, a cathedral-style room with large bay windows may retain too much heat in the summer and feel too cold in the winter. A Zoning System will deliver more conditioned air to this large, sun-drenched area to help compensate for the heat gained or lost through the windows. A different example of areas that might benefit from Zoning might be a nursery, home theater or music studio, where different temperatures may be needed in each room for the comfort and enjoyment of the people occupying these rooms. Contemporary families have different lifestyles and comfort needs. You could have a home office that needs extra conditioning during the day and none at night. Or you only use the upstairs or back bedrooms when guests visit. Whatever your needs, a zoning system can maintain each area of your house at the perfect temperature for you and each family member.
If I replace the outside unit do I need to replace the inside unit.
The answer is, probably so. Here’s why.
Matched System Design: All air conditioner and heat pump outdoor units are speciallyfabricated to work with a matched indoor unit for ideal efficiency and performance. The consequence of this matched equipment is a coordinated, top-performance team that ensures dependability and efficiency. Air conditioner and heat pump outdoor units may ”run” with indoor units other than those for which they have been speciallydesigned; however, the effect would be a definite compromise in system performance.
Design Advances: Through the years, indoor blower coil units have undergone many design advances — especially in the areas of air handling performance, filtering efficiency and operating sound levels. A new outdoor unit will also comprise the latest design advances.
Higher Cooling And Heating Efficiency: The cooling and/or heating efficiency ratings that are posted for an air conditioner or heat pump are based on their performance as matched systems. While changing only the outdoor unit may consequence in improved efficiency compared to the old system, efficiency will be lacking from what it was designed to be, and your savings will be not as much as with a matched system.
Equipment Age: If an air conditioner or heat pump is 10 years old or more and needs to be replaced, the indoor unit is likely just as old and has been subjected to the same amount of degradation. Substituting both units means you won’t have to substitutethe indoor unit in a brief time period… you’ll have more years of efficient service with both units.
New Warranty: A new set of equipment also delivers you a new product warranty. Changing the indoor unit simultaneously with the outdoor unit results in peace of mind, knowing that the new warranty covers the entire system for the same period of time.
A Bargain: At first glance, replacing only the outdoor air conditioner or heat pump may appear to be a bargain. But, when you consider the lower cooling and heating efficiencies, decreased reliability and high cost of ownership that results, it’s not such a bargain. Replacing an entire system may cost more, but you get much more efficiency, reliability and comfort for years into the future.
Is indoor air hazardous to your health?
Absolutely. Exposure to air pollutants can be up to 100 times higher indoors than outdoors. The American Lung Association estimates that most people spend 90 percent of their time indoors, making indoor air quality (IAQ) important for homeowners to know about. Many common household items contribute to poor indoor air quality. Compounds found in carpeting, furniture, upholstery and drapery fabric constantly emit fumes. Other sources of pollutants can include cleaning agents, paints and personal care products. The tight construction of today’s homes also contributes significantly to poor IAQ. Things like weather stripping and storm doors are designed to save on energy costs. However, they also prevent proper ventilation by keeping indoor air in and outdoor air out. The result can be a buildup of contaminants within the home.
Poor IAQ can be a direct or indirect cause of several health problems. Medical groups report that as many as half of all illnesses are caused or aggravated by indoor air pollution. Pollutants within the home can cause homeowners to suffer from flu-like symptoms such as headaches, nausea and respiratory irritation. As well, two existing health problems that can be helped by improving indoor air quality are allergies and asthma. By removing airborne dust particles, the amount of exposure the respiratory system has to them is reduced. Proper ventilation also plays an important role in improving indoor air quality, helping to reduce the concentration of pollutants inside the home.
How can I save money on my energy bills?
With energy costs climbing, there are a few steps you can take to help reduce the expenses of heating and cooling your home. HVAC equipment usually uses more energy than any other appliance in the home. This inevitably shows up every month on utility costs each month, but it’s important to remember that energy costs can be controlled in several ways.
Maintenance: One method to control energy costs is to schedule annual maintenance to help be sure that your furnace and air conditioner is running properly and efficiently. Operating dirty heating or cooling equipment can result in unnecessary loss of efficiency and may even damage the unit.
High Efficiency: If you are in the market for a new home comfort system, consider investing in a high-efficiency system. They are designed to help reduce your energy costs as well as help conserve natural resources. When selecting a new home comfort system, pay close attention to the SEER rating of the air conditioner and the AFUE of the furnace. The higher the SEER or AFUE, the higher the efficiency and savings.
Zoning: Zoning can dramatically lower your heating costs. Zoning divides your home into separate comfort areas, which are heated or cooled based on the occupancy of the rooms. That means a zoning system allows each room in your home to potentially have its own temperature setting. With a zoning system, you no longer pay to heat or cool the space of your home that are rarely used, and you can have the exact temperature you want in highly occupied rooms.
Programmable Thermostats: Programmable thermostats can make a big difference in energy consumption. Since you can proactively set a schedule for the days and times that the home is occupied, these thermostats are able to deliver exact comfort, efficiency and energy savings. For example, if you’re going to be away, you can set the whole house at an energy-saving temperature to avoid heating or cooling an empty house and conserving energy in the process.
What are the advantages of having a smart thermostat?
Heating and cooling account for nearly half of your home’s energy costs. Smart thermostats are the next generation of temperature control. They offer more control over your home’s temperature and climate, therefore saving you more on your energy bill! Not to mention a smart thermostat’s Wi-Fi connection offers many perks and advantages that go beyond temperature control.
Check out some of the following benefits of switching to a Smart Thermostat:
SAVE ENERGY: Smart thermostats can help homeowners and families save money each month. These thermostats are efficient and allow you to use less energy, all while helping the environment. On average, smart thermostats such as the Nest Learning Thermostat provide average savings of $131 to $145 a year. The Nest Learning Thermostat encourages its users to make smart, energy-saving choices by awarding Leaf badges and providing easy tips in the monthly energy reports. Some smart thermostats also feature a learning ability that can remember the times you prefer to lower or raise the temperature in your home, which can result in additional monthly savings as well.
REMOTE ACCESS: Most smart thermostats allow homeowners to connect their devices via Wi-Fi. These Wi-Fi thermostats contain sensors which control the heating and cooling systems in a home and work in conjunction with your HVAC system. This means that you have the ability to control your home’s temperature even when you are not home by logging in from anywhere in the world with an internet connection and making corrections to your thermostat. So if you ever forget to turn down your thermostat before going to work or on vacation, this feature is very helpful!
USEFUL FEATURES: Smart thermostats are designed to make your life easier and to do the thinking for you. They have very useful features such as maintenance reminders and the ability to monitor energy consumption. A smart thermostat has dirty filter detection so it can notify you when it is time to replace your air filter. You can monitor energy consumption every week to know if your energy use has gone up or down and to become smarter about how you program your thermostat.