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Multi-zone cooling systems have been gaining a lot of attention lately. Used to regulate different portions, or zones, of your home independently, these systems are ideal for families who want to control their home’s climate outside of just all cold or all hot settings. There are pros and cons to these systems, like any home appliance upgrade. We’ve created this breakdown to help you learn everything you need to know about multi-zone cooling systems to see if one is right for your Columbia, Maryland, home. 

What Is Multi-Zone?

Like its name suggests, multi-zone cooling systems are used to separate different climate control areas in your home. This means you can have one temperature in your living room and another in your bedroom. It’s a great set up for big families who can’t decide on a temperature that makes everyone happy, as well as families who have members with temperature-sensitive lungs. Thanks to the added flexibility, these systems allow for truly personalized home comfort.

Multi-zone systems can be configured any number of ways, and the demands on your current system or your new system depend on how many zones you want to set up. It’s common to have rooms that are used less than others, such as guest bedrooms and bathrooms, set to a different temperature than more heavily trafficked areas. It’s handy for larger homes that may not need all rooms cooled to the same temperature. Moreover, it is still valuable for smaller homes where families want to save money by specifically directing the flow of air to the most-used rooms. 

Ductless Versus Central

There are two different ways to set up a multi-zone cooling system. Both create the same style system, but the efficacy and cost depend on the size of your home.

Ductless systems are popular for homeowners that don’t want to commit to an overhaul of their current system, or for those who are looking to add on extra cooling to certain parts of their home. Ductless setups are independent of normal central systems, and they consist of both an interior and exterior component that are essentially a miniature air conditioning. It pulls in and cools the air from outside and directs it into the room that the ductless system is set up in. 

By using several of these systems, homeowners can create a multi-zoned system. It works best if these are set up with a pre-existing central system. They are a popular way to create a multi-zoned system in older homes without a strong central system or with recent renovations to improve airflow.

Central systems can be retrofitted to be multi-zone without the use of extra units. This requires a number of different components. By retrofitting your existing system, you can get all the benefits of multi-zoning without setting up an entirely new system. A professional must complete this added installation. But typically, this isn’t a super time-consuming home improvement process. 

Required Components

There are a number of components a multi-zone cooling system needs to run effectively. For a ductless system, homeowners will need both the interior and exterior components, but very little else is needed. Many of these systems are controlled by thermostats built into the interior unit or by remote controls. However, you can normally wire a thermostat to your system if desired.

Central systems that are retrofitted as multi-zone need a few more components. Each zone will require separate thermostats, so it can be set to a different temperature than the rest of the home. A zone control panel will help coordinate between the different zones you’ve set up, specifically between the dampers, the thermostats, and the central HVAC unit. Dampers are what are used to direct the cooled air to different parts of your home. They’re installed inside the ductwork and are wirelessly connected to the thermostat, so they’ll open and close on their own. 

If a multi-zone system sounds like something that would work for your family, and you’re interested in learning more, give Griffith Energy Services a call at 888-474-3391 to set up a consultation today!

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