How To Zone Your Ducted Air Conditioning System to Boost Airflow and Improve Indoor Comfort
Ducted air conditioning systems use a network of ductwork and vents to provide uniform cooling throughout the home. Ducted units also allow for zoning, dividing the building into areas that can be cooled separately using individual temperature controls. However, to ensure full-fledged control, maximum comfort, and optimal efficiency, you must set up your zones correctly. With this in mind, check out these AC zoning tips to boost airflow and improve indoor comfort.
Zone Rooms Based on Their Cooling Load
Zoning allows you to set different temperatures throughout the house simultaneously. However, for zoning to be effective, you must divide the home into areas with similar cooling needs. Therefore, consider these factors when designing your zones.
- Ambient temperature: Some rooms are warmer because of solar orientation, lack of insulation, and heat-emitting appliances such as gas and electric stoves. These rooms require more cooling; therefore, you should zone them separately.
- Floor plan: Rooms in an open floor layout can make up one zone, while the closed rooms need to be cooled independently.
- User preference: Household occupants may have varying cooling preferences for their private spaces. Therefore, bedrooms and home offices should get individual zones to for better temperature control.
Proper zoning based on the above factors improves the efficiency of the unit. It also eliminates the need to set lower temperatures for fast cooling, thereby lowering energy consumption.
Size the Ducts for Each Zone Correctly
Small ducts are suitable for rooms with a lower cooling load. They provide enough airflow to keep the spaces cool without creating uncomfortably cold spots. Conversely, rooms with a higher cooling load require more airflow and more cooling. Therefore, you need bigger ducts to provide adequate cool air and circulate it throughout the room to eliminate hot spots. If you choose larger ductwork, make sure the air pressure is balanced. If air pressure is low, the air velocity will be reduced, causing poor airflow and inadequate cooling.
Take Advantage of Smart Thermostat Features
Smart thermostats have programming features that can improve the performance of your zoned air conditioner. Each zone has its own temperature sensors for individual temperature control. Therefore, users can adjust the air in specific rooms to achieve maximum indoor comfort. Smart thermostats can also generate significant annual savings.
For example, you can use the programming feature to pre-set the AC to turn on in your bedroom an hour before bedtime. This way, you won't need to crack up the unit to cool the room quickly. Consequently, the AC will operate at a lower compressor speed and consume less energy. You can also turn off the air in unoccupied rooms to save power.
Adopt these zoning tips to boost airflow and improve indoor comfort. Contact an air conditioning contractor for professional AC installation services.