Zoned Systems

Zoned HVAC systems offer occupants of a building control over the temperature in different areas or even individual rooms of the building. How the ductwork is installed for this system depends on the size of the building. There are different methods of zoning an HVAC system for a building. Using multiple HVAC systems for separate floors of a building (or even individual units for each temperature zone) is one method of creating a zoned system. 

(Bakies, 2021)

Another method of creating temperature zones is the installation of automatic or manual air dampers on the supply air ducts. This controls the amount of airflow allocated to each designated area. Restricting airflow by partially or even fully closing a damper will determine how much cold or warm air is entering the zone. Each zone can then be adjusted to the occupants' ideal temperature. Energy efficiency is increased in this method since conditioned (hot or cold) air is not supplied to zones that do not need it.

Temperature in different rooms can be affected by multiple factors such as large windows leading to outlier temperatures or a cold basement that is never used require an excess of energy. Manually closing dampers in the basement can change the airflow so that less energy is wasted. Avoid closing dampers completely to avoid increase in static pressure throughout the HVAC system. Manually adjusting dampers should be used to balance the temperature across different rooms rather than shut off air supply to rooms entirely. 

Unfortunately, manual dampers will need to be adjusted between summer and winter months to adjust for multi-floor buildings. In the winter, hot air needs to be supplied to lower floors more since heat rises. In summer, cold air needs to be supplied to upper floors since cold air will sink. Automatic Dampers can solve this problem since they can be adjusted remotely and much more quickly than Manual Dampers. Small adjustments can be made throughout the day, offering more consistent temperature control across different zones, making the area more comfortable. However, automatic dampers are much more costly both in installation and routine maintenance. 

Houses that are constructed with zoning specifically in mind will have dedicated trunks and ducts that will make the process much easier.Another big part of zoning can be the additions of Duct-Free Mini-Split Units in smaller rooms that require individual adjustment. This can be necessary in rooms with outlier temperatures or rooms that need more consistent monitoring.


BigRentz. (2022, April 21). 8 Common Types of HVAC Systems and How They Work. BigRentz. Retrieved January 4, 2023, from

Bakies, R. (2021, July 19). What is an HVAC zoning system? (and why it works). Fire & Ice. Retrieved January 5, 2023, from 

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