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Is a Zoned Heating/Cooling System Right For You?

A common complaint among homeowners is that some rooms are either too hot or too cold while other rooms are just right. While there could be a variety of reasons for uneven heating, one cure is a zoned heating and/or cooling system.

A common complaint among homeowners is that some rooms are either too hot or too cold while other rooms are just right. While there could be a variety of reasons for uneven heating, one cure is a zoned heating and/or cooling system.

What is Zoning?

Zoning refers to breaking up your home into different heating or cooling zones. Say, for example, your upstairs rooms are always much warmer than the downstairs rooms (not uncommon because heat rises), you can install one thermostat upstairs and one downstairs and individually control each zone.

How Does it Work?

You don’t have just one switch that controls every light in your house. In the same way, a zoned heating and cooling system has more than one thermostat so you can control the temperature of each zone separately.

Lets use our earlier example and say we installed a cooling and heating zone system with two thermostats – one upstairs and another downstairs – and you set both to the same temperature. Your system will kick on and cool the entire house until one of the zones reaches its desired temperature. Once that happens, it will shut off the airflow to that zone using dampers in the ducts, and direct its full attention to the other zone. This results in less energy usage and more even temperature distribution.

Should I Get a Zoned System?

There can be many causes of uneven temperatures in a home. However, even in the most well sealed systems there can be hot and cold spots. If your home has one or more of the following, you may benefit from zoning your heating or cooling system.

  • More than one level – Because heat rises, if you only have one central thermostat, your highest levels will be warmer and your lower levels cooler.
  • Vaulted ceilings – Vaulted ceilings usually mean less attic insulation. If one or more rooms have vaulted ceilings while others don’t, you will experience differing temperatures.
  • Rooms with large glass areas – Glass doors and windows are often the primary culprits that allow your temperature-controlled air to escape. Even high-efficiency windows may not be enough to prevent hot or cold spots.
  • Family members comfortable at different temperatures – Sometimes one family member needs a much cooler temperature than the others enjoy. Installing a zone in that family member’s room allows them to have individual control of their preferred temperature without affecting the rest of the house.
  • Ranch-style homes with wings extending off main living area – In homes that extend out from the center, often the long journey of the air through the ducts causes loss of heating in the winter and loss of cooling in the summer. This leaves the center of the home at your desired temperature and the wings either warmer (in the summer) or cooler (in the winter).


Some of today’s most desired home features, such as vaulted ceilings, large windows and multiple levels, make it difficult for your temperature control system to keep each area at a comfortable temperature. By zoning your heating or cooling system, you can eliminate hot and cold spots in your home while conserving energy.

Contact Cool Today to learn more about how a customized zoning system can increase your comfort and save you money.