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Know Your AC Zone Systems

If you live with family members or roommates, there’s a good chance you’ve argued over your home’s temperature at times. In fact, for many people it’s a hotly contested issue. But long gone are the days where you’re doomed to reach a compromise where nobody is totally happy or one of you has to live forever cold or hot. With the right AC zone system, you can adjust the temperature in different areas of your home as needed. 

It’s important to not just jump on the first zone control system you find. Instead, take the time to learn more about temperature air flow in your home, as well as the different types of zone systems available. By doing so, you’ll find the perfect zone system for your home and make an important long-term investment that brings you both comfort and higher air quality! It’s also worth pointing out that many homeowners save up to 30 percent on their energy bill after a year of installation.

Here’s what you need to know:

What Homes Are Best Suited for Zone Control Systems?

Obviously, arguing with your roommate or family member over your home’s temperature is enough to make you start considering an AC zone system. But knowing whether or not such a system would actually benefit your home is another. If you meet any of the following points, a zone control system could work wonders for you:

  • Your home has multiple levels (stories)
  • You notice significant temperature differences when moving between rooms and hallways
  • You have large windows
  • You have rooms with high ceilings
  • You live in an older home, with insulation, walls and windows that may not have been updated in a while
  • You don’t use all of the rooms in your home all the time
  • All or part of your home is often shadowed by outside trees, landscape or other buildings

The good news is that even if you’re still unsure if a zone control system would work in your home, you most likely still have a lot of options. This is why it is so important to consult with an experienced air conditioning and heating expert before making any major decisions. 

How an AC Zone Control System Works 

It’s important to know how anything you’re installing in your home works, and AC zone control systems are no exception. This type of system plays off of the way airflow naturally works in your home, as in, which areas are naturally kept warmer and which are naturally maintained with cooler air. By identifying these different temperature spots, your zone control system can be set up in the most advantageous way possible. 

So, with this in mind, an AC zone system is actually fairly straightforward in function. First, you will need an expert to come in and form a plan for how best to divide up your home into different temperature zones. Each of these “zones” will have its own heating/cooling control thermostat placed in convenient locations. Dampers will also be placed all throughout your home’s existing HVAC system, allowing the zones to be sectioned off and closed / opened as needed. All thermostats will be centrally connected to one main operating system with an easy-to-use control pad. 

Are you starting to see how this system works yet? By dividing your home into these zones with their own thermostats, you will be able to adjust the temperature in each area either individually or all at once as needed. You will be able to do so either from the thermostats themselves or via the central control pad. 

What Kind of Zone Control System Does My Home Need?

Generally speaking, different AC zone systems all operate in pretty much the same way (as outline in the previous section). That said, the amount of temperature zones you have set up in your home can vary greatly. In this sense, the type of system you need will depend on a few different factors, specifically the size and shape of your home, the amount (and size) of rooms you have, and the naturally warm/cold spots. Homes with more levels and more rooms usually need more controlled zones, while smaller homes and apartments can usually get by just fine on between two and four. 

Now, because zone control systems vary in size means that installation time can vary greatly as well. However, in many cases a zone control system can be put in within one to two days. 

It’s also worth pointing out that many people who are in the process of renovating their homes use this time as the perfect opportunity to put in a zone control system. If you do so, it is recommended that you wait until the renovations are reaching their final stages, so you have a better idea of how temperature and air flow are going to naturally work between your new walls.

Ready to get started? We invite you to reach out to us today to learn more about AC zone control systems and how your home can be optimized for your temperature comfort needs!

AC Maintenance Tips Before Summer Arrives

Care and maintenance are vital to keep your AC unit functioning properly. The last thing you want is for it to break down during the hot summer months.  To avoid any interruption in your AC working all summer long, it’s best to have a professional perform regularly scheduled maintenance on your unit. Otherwise, you may find yourself with a broken AC unit and costly repairs. The heat will have you stressed out enough, don’t enhance it with having to pull out your credit card or dive into your savings to fix or even repair your AC unit at the last minute.  

There are some maintenance tasks you can perform on your own to keep your unit in tip-top shape. However, it’s important to know what these tasks are and which ones you think you can handle on your own. If this seems far outside your scope, it’s always best to hire a professional to inspect and service your AC unit. If you were to incorrectly perform a task on your unit, you may wind up damaging it. 

Read on to learn about a few tips to for keeping your AC unit running smooth and cool this summer.

Clean and Replace the Air Filter

This is a simple task almost anyone can do. Air filters need to be regularly cleaned and replaced. The amount of cleaning depends on the season. During the summer, clean the filters every month since this is when you use your AC unit the most. During the Spring, it only needs to be cleaned once or twice. Keep an eye on it and check it regularly to make sure it isn’t clogged with dirt, dust, and allergen particles that interrupt your unit’s cool airflow. To replace the air filter, you can follow the instructions on the package or hire a professional to help you with this. 

Inspect the Thermostat

After cleaning or replacing the air filter, next check the thermostat. If your thermostat is not working properly, your home will not be entirely cooled. One room could be warm, while another is freezing cold, or the entire house could be at a higher temperature than what it should be. The best thermostats to use with an AC unit are the programmable ones. They are easy to use and keep your property at a nice, comfortable temperature. They also save on power and the costs of running your AC unit. 

Inspect the Condensing Unit

Your condensing unit has an attached fan that should be in good working condition at all times. For this reason, it must be regularly inspected. What you want to look for are any chips or cracks on the fan blades. If you notice any, the fan should be immediately replaced. For older model AC units, we recommend applying oil to the fan motor on a regular basis. A professional HVAC technician can help you with this task.

Inspect the Wiring System

This is one maintenance inspection that you should definitely leave to the professionals. There are many wires connection your AC unit and it takes special knowledge to understand what goes where, why it goes there, and when it needs to be repaired or replaced. However, you can check the wires from time-to-time to look for any abnormalities. When you have your AC unit routinely inspected, the HVAC expert will inspect the wires for you. If they are damaged and need to be repaired, he will explain to you why and answer any questions you have. For example, the AC professional will check the system capacitor using an electrical tester, something the average homeowner can’t do. 

Clean Your AC’s External System Part

The AC unit is tucked away, out of sight and out of mind. It’s forgotten all winter and remembered again when the weather turns hot. Just like any other piece of equipment in and around your home, it collects dust, dirt, and other contaminants that wreak havoc on your AC system’s air flow and overall effectiveness. The external part of your system is no exception and must be regularly cleaned. Before doing this, be sure to shut off the system’s power and then you can remove all the debris and gunk with a regular garden hose. Better yet, call in a professional HVAC technician to do this task for you. 

The Bottom Line

As you can see, proper maintenance for you AC unit is a must. It will save you money, ensure your unit remains functional during the summer, and catch any repairs that need to be done. If you don’t want to find yourself living without AC this summer, it’s best to give (insert company name here) a call to come out and take a look at your AC unit ASAP. In the meantime, be sure you have extra air filters on hand and utilize the tips mentioned above in order to keep an eye on your AC unit.