Central heating and air is one of the best of all modern home conveniences. And it’s also one that we often take for granted, so much so that we infrequently notice one of the basic drawbacks of the standard central AC and heater: a homeowner doesn’t have much control over where the heated and cooled air actually goes.
If you’re thinking, “Wait a minute, yes I do! The air goes to the rooms hooked up to the ducts?” That’s true. But can you control which rooms are receiving the conditioned air? If nobody is currently spending any time in the upstairs bedrooms on a hot day, can you shut off the cooled air from being sent to them?
If the answer is no, then you don’t have the level of control that you think you have over comfort levels in your house. The ductwork that connects to your AC and heater (or heat pump if you use one) travels to each room without exception.
But There is Zone Control
You don’t have to accept this standard way of centrally heating and cooling a home. Where there’s a need, there’s an invention. In this case, it’s zone control, a way of manipulating which vents receive conditioned air while also reducing the energy output of the HVAC system and controlling air pressure within the ducts. Zone controls are often part of an initial HVAC system installation, since it work requires placing dampers into the ducts and wiring the dampers to local thermostat that connect to a central control. It is possible to retrofit, however.
But Going with Ductless Mini Splits May Be a Better Option
There is a type of central heating and cooling system that comes with zone controls built right in: ductless mini split heat pumps.
A ductless heating and cooling system forgoes the use of the conventional ductwork by eliminating the single indoor AC/furnace and air handler. Instead, the outdoor unit of the heat pump links up to a series of smaller air handlers that are attached to the walls in various rooms. The refrigerant and power lines from the outdoor unit travel through small holes in the back of the wall to connect to each of the room air handlers. The refrigerant coil in the unit is able to perform evaporation (cooling mode) or condensation (heating mode) and the blower fan in the air handler then sends the conditioned air directly into the living space, without the need for ducts.
There are many benefits to this type of system, but one of the big ones is that each air handler can be controlled separately from the rest of the system. Only the air handlers in rooms that require comfort controls need to be running. In other words: you have zone control—without any additional installation work required!
If you are interested in having a ductless system in Rancho Cucamonga, CA, have a talk with one of our professionals. They can help you with going ductless or with arranging for standard zone controls.
Russell’s Heating & Air Conditioning serves the Inland Empire and Desert Communities. For exceptional customer service, please give our office a call.