With the advent of so many new technologies in the world of residential heating and cooling, zone control is one trend that seems to be taking a considerable hold.  Zones are specific locations in buildings that are “zoned” off to have individual climate control. In small to medium sized homes, the building is usually zoned off by the bedrooms, living room, kitchen, and other high traffic areas like bathrooms and studys.  Therefore, if a house has “zone control,” it merely means that the individual rooms or locations in the house have their own temperature control. Years back, this was often achieved either by putting window air conditioners in individual rooms and running them according to when each room is used, or a similar setup but with more advanced ductless mini split HVAC systems that utilize outdoor condensers and have a larger degree of flexibility.  But much like the zone control you would find in most hotel rooms, this setup relegates your heating and cooling to a bunch of different machines that all need to be installed and controlled individually. Instead, there are newer systems that utilize complex ductwork dampeners that control the airflow to each individual room to allow for a different set temperature in each one of those zones. Although you’re constrained to either using the AC or the furnace at any given time—not both simultaneously—it allows you to make one bedroom warmer or colder than another.  Although the equipment is substantial and the upfront costs with both parts and labor is much higher than with a non zone controlled system, it has the added benefit of giving your guests their own temperature control without affecting the rest of your house. For people with family that visit regularly, this is priceless.

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