A zoning system only works as well as its design allows it to. So, before investing in zoning for your central Arizona home, you need to plan out an optimal zoning system design.
Proper zoning system design incorporates a number of basic guidelines, such as:
- Don’t combine different floors into the same zone. In a multistory house, each story should have its own zone (or set of zones). Heat rises, so the upper floor of a house will generally need more air conditioning than the first floor or basement.
- Separate rooms that have different solar heating loads into different zones. If a room has a lot of window area, it will be heated by the sun much like a greenhouse. However, it will only receive direct sunlight for part of the day. You may need to separate east-facing rooms and west-facing rooms into different zones, because they will need cooling at different times.
- Have a separate zone for rooms that are built with different construction materials. If you add on to your home, the newer construction may have better (or worse) insulation, and therefore have different temperature needs.
- Have separate zones for parts of the house that are occupied only at certain times of day. For instance, if your bedrooms are only occupied at night, they only need to be kept at a comfortable temperature at night. A good zoning system design would group those rooms into a zone so that a programmable thermostat can be used to save energy when the zone is empty.
- Place thermostats in the most-used room of each zone. The rooms that you use the most are the most important ones to keep at an optimum temperature. With a zoning system, thermostats should generally not be placed in hallways, because you are only in a hallway for a few seconds at a time.