Zone control systems are energy-saving inventions. The system links multiple thermostats that are strategically placed in your home so that you can adjust the temperature to a level of comfort in each room. This is useful if your home has many rooms or if your home is a multilevel structure.
A zone control system is composed of multiple thermostats on each level of your home and in different areas, or zones, of your home. Most homes have two thermostats, but some larger homes can have up to six thermostats installed. The group of thermostats monitors the air temperature throughout the structure. They are linked to a main control panel so that you can adjust the temperature at a main switch. If you are closing off a section of your home because you are not using it, you can handle that with ease at the control panel by turning the unit off in that area. If you are reopening a section because family members are coming to visit, you can quickly adjust the temperature in that zone of your home at the control panel.
Why Do You Need a Zone Control System?
If your home is constructed as a multilevel structure, the heat rises and causes the top floor to be warmer than the downstairs areas. The zone control system will monitor the air temperature and help regulate it to a comfortable temperature. Cool air sinks so the lowest level of your home will often be the coolest area year round. The zone control system will help you maintain a comfortable temperature in this area as well.
Traditionally, the thermostat is located in a hallway in the center of the home. It is an accurate gauge of the air temperature, but it is limited in scope and function as it can only measure the air temperature in the location where the thermostat is mounted on the wall.
What are the Benefits?
The zone control system will reduce the overworking of your unit. You can save on your utility bill because you are not constantly adjusting the thermostat. Selecting a comfortable temperature for each area of the home will reduce the need for constant adjustments and not force the air conditioner or heater to â€œcatch upâ€ with the temperature changes.Â Family disputes will be resolved since you will no longer be cranking up the heat because someone is freezing downstairs while someone upstairs is complaining because they are â€œfrying.â€ Family will become united once again.
Call your Heating Technician when emergency strikes and your furnace is not working as it should be. If your heater is blowing cold air, you need professional assistance to solve the problem. There are many causes for heaters to malfunction, and a technicianâ€™s trained eye can usually spot the problem right away.
Unit is Running Constantly or Will Not Turn On
If your unit is not turning on and off regularly, you need to call for help. Many times the thermostat is at the root of this problem.Â You can check your thermostat to make sure that it is set at the proper temperature by using a thermometer. If the thermometer reading is different than the thermostat setting when the unit kicks on or off, then you know that there is a thermostat issue.
Ductwork Clogs or Faulty Furnace
If no air is coming out of the vents, a call to your heating technician is in order. You will want to call your heating and air repairman if your furnace is making strange noises also.
After you have determined that you may need to call your Heating and Air Technician, one of the first questions the technician may ask you on the telephone is an obvious one: â€œDid you turn the unit on at the thermostat?â€ You would be surprised at how many times repairmen have arrived at homes and checked the thermostat to find that it was indeed turned off instead of on, and the homeowner was charged with a service call. The second question the technician may ask you is, â€œDid you check the breaker?â€ If both of those answers are â€œyesâ€ and the furnace is still not working, then the technician will most likely be on his way to check out your problem.
Gas Leak or Smoke
Another important reason to call your technician is if you smell smoke or gas. First, turn the unit off, and then evacuate your home immediately. Once you are a safe distance away from your home, call your heating technician.
Gas Leak Safety Tips
There are five important safety tips to remember if you smell gas inside your home. Evacuate everyone from your home, and remember that the following actions can spark fires if gas is leaking in your home:
- Do not use a cell phone.
- Do not light a cigarette or a candle.
- Do not use a flashlight.
- Do not turn off the gas or propane valves.
- Do not crank your vehicleâ€™s ignition.
There are five quick and inexpensive ways to reduce your heating bill during the winter season.Â By putting these tips into service, you will not only save money on your heating bill, you will also reduce the overuse of your heating unit and prolong its life span.
The key to a reduced heating bill is locking your thermostat so that it is not tempting to adjust it frequently. Setting your thermostat on a comfortable temperature and leaving it there is the easiest way to ensure that you are not overworking your heating unit and causing your utility bill to skyrocket.
You need to know where your vents are located. If you have floor vents, make sure that rugs are not covering them. After you have found all of your vents, be sure to vacuum your vents to make sure that the heated air is being distributed properly. If your ductwork is in the attic and the vents are in the ceiling, make sure that they are cleaned as well.Â If you are not using particular rooms, make sure that the vents are closed in those areas and that the vents are fully open in rooms that you use.
Use of ceiling fans to circulate the warm air that rises to the ceiling is another way to improve your homeâ€™s heating efficiency.Â During the winter, you must turn the switch controlling the fan blades to the reverse position to circulate the warm air down into the room. Using the ceiling fan on its lowest setting will not cause an uncomfortable breeze, but it will provide enough air movement to shift the warm air back down into the room so that the heated air is not lost.
Windows and Doors
Leaks of air, often occurring around windows and outside doors, cause your heating bill to rise. Make sure your windows are tightly sealed so cool air does not seep in and that the expensive warm air does not escape. Also, check your outer doors to make sure the edges are tightly sealed and that they do not have air coming in around the edges. If you detect a leaky spot, cover the edges with weather seal (or window seal) tape to stop the leaks. This inexpensive fix will take care of the problem, and you will see a dramatic difference in your heating bill.
Open the Insulated Blinds
Purchasing insulated blinds is a good investment for your homeâ€™s heating bill. The insulated blinds will prevent heat loss in the evenings and at night. Use solar energy to help heat your home by opening the blinds and curtains on sunny days. The sunâ€™s natural heating will help reduce the need for your unit to work hard to heat your home. When the sun starts to set, be sure to close the blinds so that the warmth is not lost.
Clean the Unit on Schedule
Your heating unit is an investment that must be maintained for it to provide maximum benefit to you and your household. The first thing to remember is to change your filters once a month. Add this task to your monthly calendar so that you do not forget or overlook it. Clean filters give your unit a break so that it will not have to work as hard to do its job.Â Another important chore is to clean your furnace using your vacuum cleaner. Ridding the furnace of dirt that collects on and around the unit will improve its efficiency and prevent household fires.
Set your heating unit on a comfortable temperature during the winter and leave the thermostat alone. If you turn the heating unit off and on, it makes your unit run harder because it has to heat up everything in the house all the way down to your silverware in the drawers and up to the pictures hanging on the walls.Â When you leave the thermostat on a selected temperature, the unit will easily maintain the comfortable temperature around the clock.
Annual Check Up
Call your heating technician once a year to schedule an appointment to give your unit its annual checkup and to have it serviced. The best time to have this service done is during the summer because you can have your heat and air serviced at the same time. Technicians will check your Freon levels to ensure that your air conditioner will cool properly, and they can check your heating unit so that it will be ready to use the following winter. If you have a geothermal heating unit, technicians recommend that you have these units serviced twice each year.
If you maintain your unit properly, it will last a lot longer than if it is overworked and not maintained.
There are two types of furnace replacements: emergency replacement and planned replacement. The good news is that furnaces have lengthy life spans and that they can be used year after year without replacement. If your unit has been heating all of your homeâ€™s living space, then you are in a position to keep the unit that is already installed and in use.
If you choose to keep the furnace that is already installed until it fails beyond repair, you will be faced with emergency furnace replacement. This occurs when your heater fails during normal use on a winter day or night, and you call out the heating and air technician. The technician looks it over and determines that the old furnace must go and a new one must take its place. You will be faced with choices on a deadline because you will want to have the fastest fix. Also, you will find with emergency replacement that calling out a service technician after hours or on a holiday is much more expensive than a planned service call during normal business hours.
To avoid the extra expense of emergency replacement, you can plan ahead.
It may be in your best interest to plan a replacement to avoid the hassle and expense of the emergency replacement. The following are four tips for knowing if a planned replacement is in order this year:
- Furnace Age – If your furnace is between 16 and 25 years old, you might want to start planning for a replacement. The average life span of a furnace is 20 years. If you have had no problems requiring replacement parts, your furnace could last longer, but if your furnace has already been repaired frequently, you might want to start working a furnace replacement into your budget for the New Year.
- Replacement Parts – If you have had work done on your furnace during the past two winters, you might want to start budgeting for a new furnace. Newer furnaces will be cheaper in the long run because you will not have to keep adding parts like you would to an older one to keep it running.Â Older furnaces that have problems often need replacement parts; sometimes, older furnaces need parts that are hard to find, and those harder-to-find parts are many times more expensive.
- Winter Weather – If the parts are hard to find, it can be a long cold wait for them to arrive. This is another reason to schedule a replacement.
- Carbon Monoxide – If you have a carbon monoxide detector that is alarming, or if you are experiencing flu-like symptoms only at home or are experiencing frequent headaches, nausea, or burning eyes or nose, then you need to have your old furnace repaired or replaced immediately. Open windows and evacuate before calling your service technician.