Do homeowners really care about how air will flow in their home when purchasing a new heating and cooling system? Well, if that is what will determine their comfort levels, ABSOLUTELY! Most, however, don’t know they even have a choice in how the air will be distributed throughout their home beyond what system they’ve purchased.
Air distribution is one of the most overlooked topics when purchasing a new heating and cooling system. There is such an emphasis on efficiency numbers, sound decibels and price, that how the air is going to flow is often never discussed.
When we think about proper air distribution through the home, we should to consider these 3 things: room design, potential hot/cold spots and occupancy. Let’s briefly look at each:
Popular today is the “open concept”. Yes, it’s modern and looks great, but it can cause some heating and cooling challenges. It’s going to take a lot of energy to maintain a level of comfort that homeowners will enjoy in an open concept if it is not distributing air properly.
Potential hot/cold spots
Let’s say a room has a “view to die for” but is completely lined with west facing windows. That room is going to absorb a tremendous amount of the afternoon’s sun, creating a hot spot. Has that been considered in the installation of the new hvac system? Likely not. That room is going to need more cooling (or less heating) after about 3:00 pm.
Rooms have different uses…and at varying times. Occupancy will affect the comfort level of a room when it is used at its peak times. For example, dinner is usually prepared and served around 7:00 pm in many homes. The oven, lights, and movement in the kitchen and dining areas — that were idle during the day — are at peak right now. This activity can greatly heat up a room…and fast.
Today, there are many sophisticated solutions for maintaining comfort in the home, including zoning systems that call for heating and cooling as needed. Zoning uses motorized dampers that open and close in the duct system, and multiple thermostats to control them, to better distribute air as it is “called for.”
There are also better thermostats, like WiFi and smart t-stats that are more effective to provide more comfort as well. You can control the temperature in your home while in or out of it via smart devices with WiFi thermostats. And, great programming options and “away from home” features make WiFi thermostats a very valuable tool when you want to save on energy usage and utility bills. Smart thermostats, like NEST, actually “learn” your occupancy and schedule and program themselves to deliver more comfort when and where you need it. This can also save on your utility bills.
Are you offering these options to your customers when designing a heating and cooling system, including an air distribution plan, that will work best for them? If not, you should.
For more information on zoning and controls, visit www.jacksonsystems.com. Jackson Systems: Controls Done Right!