July 15, 2022
Family enjoying AC in Drexel Hill, PA

Pennsylvania residents experience a wide range of temperatures every year. While we may not have the frigid temperatures of Minnesota or the high heat of Arizona, we endure cold winters and hot summers. A well-functioning HVAC system is a necessity to make it through the year in the Keystone State.

HVAC Basics

The experts at O'Brien Heating & Air Conditioning keep your HVAC equipment running smoothly every season. As a Drexel Hill homeowner, you are probably familiar with the basics. Your heating system pushes warm air into your home during the winter months. An air conditioner makes the summer months bearable. You can bring your home to the right temperature by adjusting your thermostat.

Working With Zones

HVAC professionals frequently divide homes into climate zones. Each thermostat in your home is responsible for controlling the temperature of a single zone. In older homes, there may be one thermostat for the whole structure. Younger homes may have a thermostat for each floor.

The problem with large zones is that they do not account for natural temperature changes. Rooms with many windows and lots of sunlight will be warmer than rooms in the shade. Heat rises, so upstairs rooms tend to be warmer than downstairs rooms. Without a multizone system, you will experience areas of your home that are chronically too warm or too cold.

A Multizone Approach

A multizone approach to HVAC means dividing your home into several smaller zones. In some systems, every bedroom has a thermostat for custom temperature adjustment. Other homeowners set up the system so that frequently-used rooms can be comfortable without wasting energy on maintaining the temperature in empty rooms.

Installing a multizone system involves adding thermostats for every zone. Our HVAC professionals will also install dampers in the current ductwork to direct air in the proper direction. Adding more zones will increase the scope of this work.

How to Determine Zones in Your Home

Determining zones is a matter of personal preference. Most HVAC professionals will recommend starting with creating zones by floor. Each level of your home will have a unique climate. This technique works well if all your bedrooms are on the same floor. You can set the thermostat to adjust the upstairs temperature an hour before everyone goes to bed. The downstairs zone can turn on an hour before everyone wakes up.

You might also consider how sunlight heats your home during the day. If you only have a thermostat in a living room that receives natural light, it will affect the temperature of other rooms in the zone. These secondary rooms may always be too cold since the thermostat is responding to the elevated temperatures in the sunny room.

You may also have unique needs that demand a special zone. Homes with a library or expensive electronic equipment may require a zoning solution that also addresses humidity.

Is Zoning the Right Choice for Your Home?

Construction companies often design new homes with a multizone system for increased efficiency and comfort. This setup has become standard in larger homes.

Before you adopt a multizone system, it is important to look at your needs. If you have a smaller home, adding zones may not make a significant difference to your energy usage. Homes with one or two residents may also not notice a major difference in comfort. In these cases, retrofitting your ductwork may not be worth the expense.

Programmable Options

At O'Brien Heating & Air Conditioning, we recommend upgrading your thermostat to a programmable model no matter how many zones you have. Basic programmable thermostats let you develop a temperature schedule based on your home use. This simple improvement can save you a great deal on energy costs.

Newer smart thermostats go even further in accurately controlling the climate in a zone. Some of these models can learn your home heating habits to maximize system efficiency. These Wi-Fi-compatible units also let you control your zones remotely. If you forget to turn down the thermostats when you leave for vacation, you can adjust them while you wait at the airport. Adding smart thermostats will take your multizone system to the next level of comfort and efficiency.

Your Partner for Complete Home Comfort in Drexel Hill

O'Brien Heating & Air Conditioning has been supplying complete HVAC services in Drexel Hill since 1955. You can trust us with the care, design and maintenance of your heating and cooling systems. We also provide additional services for home comfort equipment like air purifiers and water heaters. To learn more about how we can keep you comfortable in every season, contact us today.

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