How Many Zones Should Your Central Air Conditioning Unit Have in Your Home?

Central air conditioning is a tremendous addition to any Jacksonville, FL home.  Think about the hot and humid climate that we live in across the state of Florida.  Whether you are in Orange Beach, Fernandina Beach, Jacksonville, Orlando, really anywhere, it can get extremely hot and humid in those summer months of July and August.  Without central air conditioning our homes become basically unlivable.  They get so hot that you cannot enjoy a meal, cannot sleep comfortably, and so on.  This is why so many people turn to central air conditioning systems over inefficient, loud, and troublesome window air conditioning units.

 

One of the biggest questions that many homeowners have when they are having their central air conditioning system set-up and installed is how many zones they should have.  This is going to dictate to a great extent the amount of control that you have over the central air conditioning system and where and when it blows cold air to certain areas of your home.  Adding zones certainly brings an increased cost, but the added control that it also adds to the equation can help you in the long run to ensure that your system runs as efficiently as possible.

 

Understanding Zones With a Central Air Conditioning System

 

In order to figure out how many zones you want for your central air conditioning system, you need to start out by understanding what the zones actually are.  What a zone is when you are talking about a heating or a cooling system is an area of the home where that system is going to blow the hot or the cold air.  Think of zones like dividing up your home into sections.  The easiest way to do this is when you have two floors, you have the first floor be zone one and the second floor be zone number two.

 

When you have multiple zones, a thermostat is going to be placed at each zone.  This is what is going to dictate when the central air conditioning system is going to kick on so that it can cool that area or zone of the home.  Say you want your second floor to be set at 65 degrees while the first floor gets kept at 60 degrees.  Setting the two different zones at these two different temperatures will allow your central air conditioning system to kick on when one of those zones begins to drift away from its desired temperature.

 

How Many Zones Do You Need?

 

Figuring out how many zones you want out of your central air conditioning system is going to depend largely on just how much control you want over the temperature of all of the different areas of your home.  Say you want your bedroom to be a certain temperature every night when you are getting ready to go to bed.  If this is the case, you may want to have the bedrooms set up on a separate zone so that the temperature can be turned up during the day so you are not wasting electricity running the system, but turned down at night so the rooms can be cooled and ready for you.

 

The example with the multiple floors is easiest, but you really have to think about how you want to break up your home by sections and just how much control you want over those areas.  If you live in a ranch where you are all on one floor, you may want to just have one zone because it may be that much easier to keep your home consistently cool.  If you have a two-story house though with multiple floors and areas, a few different zones may be in order.  Control is the deciding factor, as is energy efficiency.  If you can work your whole home on one zone and have your unit run efficiently, then you may be fine with the one zone.  If you have a larger home, more than one zone may be necessary so the unit isn’t always cooling areas where you simply are not using.
Central air conditioning systems are tremendous in that they allow you to control the temperature of your home and keep everything as cool and comfortable as possible.  When you are having your central air conditioning system installed, think about the areas of your home and how you would want to section those off into zones.  This can help you as you try to decide if you want your home all on one thermometer and zone, or multiple for added control.