Get in the Zone to Save Money on Energy Bills

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Controlling the temperature of your home by only heating or cooling those areas that are the most used is an efficient way to stay comfortable and shave a few bucks off your electricity bill. Photo: Shutterstock

Controlling the temperature of your home by only heating or cooling those areas that are the most used is an efficient way to stay comfortable and shave a few bucks off your electricity bill. Photo: Shutterstock

Heating and cooling costs account for more than half our total energy costs, and most of us could use some new ways to shave off a few kilowatts aside from bumping up the air conditioner a couple of degrees in the summer or turning down the heat and grabbing a sweater in the winter. Wouldn’t it be better if you could waste less energy without sacrificing comfort?

Zone heating and cooling provides better control over where your energy is sent, which translates directly into how well your money is spent. If you’re looking at replacing your current HVAC system, or are willing to invest in a more efficient system that will pay for itself in a relatively short time, zone systems just might be the way to go. (They’re also a great idea for anyone building a new home.)

With a zone control system, the emphasis is on heating or cooling the rooms in which you spend the most time instead of trying to heat or cool the entire home. A professionally installed system has a separate thermostat for each zone, or area, of the home. Using dampers to control airflow, a zone system can manage your energy usage and eliminate wasted heat and cooling. Not only does that make for a more comfortable living environment, but it creates more comfortable energy bills, too: Studies indicate that homeowners can save as much as 30 percent on their energy bills by switching to a zone system.

If you’re not ready to make the switch to full-home zoning, create your own zones by adding supplemental units like energy-efficient heaters and portable air conditioners to rooms that are used most often. Then, adjust the temperature by a few degrees and use the supplemental unit only in the room where the heat or air conditioning is needed. You’ll see a significant savings without sacrificing comfort.

Want to learn more about how zoning works? Watch this video from Zonefirst:

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