Is air conditioning zoning suitable for your home or business? To zone or not to zone? This is the question to ask yourself if your AC system treats all areas of the house in the same way. 

Before answering to any of these questions, it’s important to understand the meaning, functionality and purposes of a zoned air conditioner.

 What is zoning and how does it work?

First and foremost, what does zoning actually mean?  A zoned system allows you to control different areas of your home depending on their use and their occupants’ preferences.

Back in the day, a central air conditioner cooled the entire space it was meant for, meaning that every room had the same temperature and amount of air flow. Also, there was a single thermostat that controlled the entire home, which had to work intensely to overcome temperature variations. Over the years, family members started to have different comfort needs, so air conditioning zoning was introduced as a solution to create some kind of micro-climates for each area of the house.

Therefore, with the help of this technology, the air is distributed where and when is needed, increasing everyone’s comfort and decreasing cost and energy usage.


Is the zoned system right for you?

The answer is: it depends. The first condition is, of course, to have multiple zones you need to control throughout your home or office. Here are some situations where air conditioning zoning becomes a necessity rather than just an option.

  • Multi-storey homes or office buildings – As heat rises, the highest levels tend to be warmer than the lower ones, so introducing a zoned system will help you eliminate the variations
  • Vaulted or high ceilings – Although less common in Australia, there are homes where the living room has a vaulted ceiling while bedrooms don’t. As a result, uneven airflow may lead to temperature variations.
  • Frequently or less frequently used areas of your home – If you spend more time in the living room or you work from home during the day, then you can zone the spaces according to your needs. Vice versa, if you are out in the garden or at the office, then you can turn off the areas that are not in use.
  • Different thermal comfort from a family member to another – It has been proven that some people feel the cold more than others do but, on the other hand, they can tolerate much higher temperatures. You can avoid never ending conflicts on this hot topic by setting zones that allow individual control of the preferred temperature without affecting others.


Smart Air Conditioning Zoning Systems

Traditional air conditioning zoning requires a large common space which has to be open at all times, this way preventing air pressure build-up and damage to the ductwork. That zone can occupy up to 25% of a home and needs to be cooled no matter if you use it or not, which means energy waste and higher costs.

A modern solution may be the Smart Zoning Systems, allowing you to monitor and control different areas of your home with the touch of a button. Big air conditioning companies are constantly innovating and bringing newer models and technologies. A few examples are listed below:

  • ZoneMaster: ZoneTouch, ZoneSwitch, Air Touch 3
  • Nest Zoning – Nest Thermostat
  • iZone

No matter your choice, always remember that the right air conditioning option is the one that suits you best.

Until next time, enjoy your comfort zone!

Your friend and AC expert,

John Ricca


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