Zoned A/C: What is it?

Puerto Vallarta is a beautiful city, we all know that!! We also know that it can get very warm in Summer. That’s why every PV resident is always on the hunt for the most efficient cooling system for their home. There is a new option now that is becoming very popular, especially in the newer condo developments. Zoned A/C implements smart cooling that will ideally keep your home more comfortable and at a lower price.

What Are AC Zones?

An air conditioning zone ranges from a single room, a section of a house or even an entire floor. How you zone your house is completely up to you, it’s easy to create specialized zones comprising of single rooms or large areas. Many homeowners end up zoning in accordance with:

  • Different Floors

    If you aren’t planning on creating different zones on each floor of your house, we highly recommend at least splitting each floor into its own zone. Top floors are often hotter than ground floors because they are closer to hot roofs and because hot air rises, requiring additional cooling.

  • Specialized Rooms

    If you have specialized rooms in your home, such as a personal gym, we recommended turning these rooms into their own AC zones. Nobody needs an extra reason to sweat while they’re working out.

  • Sun-Lit Rooms

    Everyone loves rooms with big, open windows, but the reality is that these rooms often get hotter than the rest of the house. Rooms with large windows allow lots of sunlight in and often need additional cooling.

How Does AC Zoning Work?

Zoned air conditioning systems work differently depending on whether you have a duct or ductless AC. Ductless systems are automatically zoned, while HVAC units that utilize ducts require additional work and zoned HVAC installation.

In order to control the amount of cold air directed into each zone, a zoned AC system uses electronic dampers. Dampers are like little valves strategically placed throughout your ductwork, controlling the amount of cold air that flows into a room. These dampers are either controlled by a central thermostat or multiple thermostats placed in different zones. The dampers will change the amount of conditioned air allowed into a room depending on the temperature selected on the thermostat.

Pros of AC Zoning

  • Comfort

    One of the biggest pros of introducing a zoned AC system to your home is comfort. Inevitably, someone will always want the heat to be just a little higher than the rest of the house. With zoned AC everyone can control the temperature within their preferred zone, ensuring that your family members are happy and comfortable. No more fighting over the AC!

  • Energy Savings

    Normal air conditioning units that are used to cool an entire house can be very costly. By introducing zoned air conditioning into your home, you won’t have to pay unnecessary electricity costs to cool unused rooms. In fact, you’ll only have to pay for the cost of cooling rooms you choose.

Cons of AC Zoning

  • Price

    Installing a zoned AC system is slightly more expensive than installing a large unit to cool an entire house. However, this additional cost is quickly overtaken by the money saved on energy bills.

  • Lost Air

    Critics argue that, even with dampers opened fully, zoned AC systems aren’t as efficient as traditional ductwork. If a zoned system is installed correctly – in particular, if the bypass duct is properly installed – the impact of installing dampers in your ductwork will have a negligible effect on your overall AC functioning.

Do you have Zoned A/C in your home? I would love to hear from you in the comments below!- John


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