One of the services that we offer to homeowners in Chicagoland, and have offered since we started in business in 1998, is the installation of zone control systems. What these systems do is give the homeowner the ability to close off sections of the ductwork so that the forced-air heater and air conditioner do not send conditioned air to unoccupied rooms. This is a way to reduce heating and cooling costs in a home, and it’s helpful for larger homes or homes that have rooms (such as guest rooms) that are often unoccupied.
Isn’t shutting vents in rooms achieving the same thing?
No, it’s not. When people first hear about zone control, they imagine that it’s not any different than moving the louvers in the grills over a room vent to seal it off. But professionally installed zone control systems are more complicated, involving dampers and special thermostats that integrate into the rest of the HVAC system. This way, even when dampers are shut down to close off a duct section, the pressure within the rest of the ventilation system remains the same.
Closing room vents, however, doesn’t send a signal to the blower, air conditioner, or furnace to also change the way it operates. The result is that the pressure inside the ventilation system increases. For conventional blowers that only operate at one speed, this will cause less air to be moved around, and other parts of the house will see a drop in comfort. Air is not being “forced” to other places! For variable-speed blowers, the rise in pressure will make the blower ramp up, and it will end up wasting energy.
Either way, this method won’t save you money, and it will probably end up lowering comfort in your home. Worst of all, the high pressure can damage the ductwork, creating air leaks, and may also lead to icing on the coils of an AC and an overworked compressor.
If you’re looking for zone control, do it the right way: call Malek Heating & Cooling for zone control installation. We serve Winnetka, IL and the rest of Chicagoland.