ZoningSupply.com - Zone Control

HVAC Zone Controls & Zoning Dampers

hvac zone control

What's a TON got to do with AC?

homeowners, Other HVACzoning supply1 Comment

So you've probably heard of someone refer to an air conditioner's size in terms of  "TONS".  Something like "I got a new 4 TON HVAC unit".  This refers, not to physical size, but to the capacity (ability) of the equipment to generate heat.  That's right, even air conditioning (cooling), is sized by it's ability to produce heat.  In the case of air conditioning, the heat is being "pulled" from inside the house and dispersed outside.  This is why there is always an outdoor component (the air conditioning compressor) when you have AC.

Back to TONs... most people thing of a TON as being 2000 lbs. but with regard to HVAC, a TON is a measurement of heat generation per day.

1 TON of air conditioning is a measure equivalent to the amount of heat necessary to melt 2000 lbs of ice (H20) in a 24 hour period.

ecojaytonexplain1.jpg

But how did we get there? A BTU (British Thermal Unit) is the unit we use express heat energy.  One BTU is equivalent to the amount of heat energy released when burning 1 match all the way. When rating an HVAC unit either for heating or cooling, the amount of BTUs per Hour is often sited.  It has been measured that it takes 143 BTUs to melt 1 lb of ice.  Since, 1 TON of ice is 2000lbs, It will take 2000 x 143 = 286,000 BTUs to melt 1 TON of ice.  The ice could be melted by lighting 286,000 matches all at once or by lighting one at a time... In other words, BTUs only tells us how much heat energy is necessary but not over what time period.  It could melt in 1 minute, 1 hour, or even 1 year depending on how the energy is generated.  So, to rate the output of HVAC equipment, someone decided back in the early 1900s (probably someone at Carrier) that it should be done over a 24 HR peroid (1 day).  This is how we get 286,000 BTUs / 24 hrs =~ 11,917 BTUs per hour or commonly know as 12K BTU/hr is equal to 1 TON.

ecojaytonexplain2.jpg

This means that that 4 TON AC unit you have can melt 8,000 lbs of ICE per day or about the same size block of ice as a Suburban.  That's a lot of heat energy!

ADD-A-WIRE with Zone Control

HVAC Contractors, homeowners, Other HVACzoning supplyComment

An ADD-A-WIRE device can be used when upgrading to thermostats that need a "COMMON" wire from one that didn't have one... and there is no way to run the additional wire needed.  This device, ranging from $15 to $40 can come in very handy especially in the case of zone control where one or more thermostat does not have enough wires to accomodate a modern thermostat such as a WiFi thermostat.

Be sure to follow the wiring diagram for the specific model of "ADD-A-WIRE" as well as the system type.  Show here is the LUX Products LPB-WH Power Bridge wired to a GAS/ELECTRIC thermostat and SmartZone-4X controller, however, the basic principal is the same for any application.

lux addawire instructions.jpg

All of the different ADD-A-WIRE models come with instructions, read them carefully and follow exactly and you won't have any problems.

For more information about the method of ADD-A-WIRE when there is no way to run an extra wire from your zone panel to your equipment, check out this post:
https://zoningsupply.com/blog/upgrading-thermostats-solving-a-common-problem

From an engineering perspective this is an elegant and simple solution.  Without giving away trade secrets, the ones i have tested use the a half wave bridge using diodes at the thermostat and some simple relay logic plus the another half wave at the equipment (no micro necessary) to use only 1 wire for both Y and G signals.... brilliant.

For more information, or with any questions, please contact us.

De-humidification and SmartZone - Zone 1 Thermostat Control

HVAC Contractors, Other HVAC, Supportzoning supply1 Comment

Although SmartZone does not have any built-in capabilities for controlling DE-humidification (DH) or Humidification, some applications are possible by using a thermostat on ZONE 1 that does have the capability to control DH.

DE-humidification, in most residential systems, is simply running the equipment in COOLING with LOW speed fan instead of HI speed fan.

Before we get to zoning, the equipment being used must have the capability to control humidity.  This usually means it has a terminal (DH/BK/DS) that is energized or DE-energized by a thermostat to control fan speed of the equipment.  Controlling fan speed allows the equipment to DE-humidify the air when the fan is running in low speed.

Back to zoning, using zone 1 thermostat to control DH is not as simple as wiring directly from the thermostat to the equipment.  PLEASE DO NOT DO THIS.  The equipment and the zone thermostats are running on different transformers and this will case problems and potentially damage to some components.  You could isolate the output from the thermostat with a relay to get around this issue of different transformers but you would still have an issue with this method of wiring "around" the zone controller.  The issue can arise when zone 1 calls for DH but the equipment is already running in heat, this mixed signal might just be ignored by the equipment but we cannot take that for granted... all equipment works differently.

ecojay smartzone de-hum using y2 -BASIC.JPG

The best way to control DH using SmartZone on single stage equipment is by using the method below.  It may seem a little UN-orthidoxed but it is a valid APP note from the engineer at Ecojay (It's intended to work this way).

  1. Select a DH enabled thermostat of your choice
  2. Connect Y2/ECO on SmartZone Zone 1 to Zone 1 Thermostat DH/DS/BK
  3. Connect Y2 on SmartZone Equipment toEquipment DH/DS/BK
  4. Set Zone 1 "STAT TYPE" to G2
  5. Set DIP switch #4 to "LOCKOUT"

Zone 1 thermostat will now enable and disable DE-humidification any time the equipment is running in the cooling mode.
NOTE: When starting cooling from OFF state, 90 second delay will occur before HIGH speed fan will energize.

Using this method we are assuming that the equipment is expecting DS/BK/DH input terminal to be ENERGIZED for high speed fan and DE-ENERGIZED for low speed fan.  This method should not be used for more than 3 zones or with multi-stage compressor equipment.


SmartZone-2X
149.00 199.00
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This application will work with Ecojay's SmartZone-2X and SmartZone-4X.  Learn more

Click for SmartZone-2X/4X Install Guide

Click for SmartZone-2X/4X Install Guide

WiFi Thermostat Roundup 2017

homeowners, Other HVAC, thermostatszoning supplyComment

Just a few short years ago, WiFi thermostats were only made by a very few companies starting with Ecobee and RadioThermostat, followed by Nest.  A couple of years pass and big names in the HVAC industry (Honeywell, Emerson, Venstar, etc) join the WiFi thermostat party.  In 2017 we have more to chose from than can easily be kept up with.  Note: All prices as of this article publish date.

All of the WiFi thermostats listed below will work with any SmartZone

I am sure there will be even more on the market in 2018, we will keep watching the WiFi thermostat bubble grow!  More than 15 are listed here (and I know they are not all listed).  If you know of any more, comment or tweet to us @zoning_supply


wifi stat - bosch connected.JPG

Bosch - $ 170, 4-Heat, 2-Cool, GE/HP, Hum, deHum, Color: White
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B073XHD8BB



TOP PICK

*Ecobee 3 - $ 169, 3-Heat, 2-Cool, Best for zoning in our opinion.
https://www.amazon.com/ecobee3-Smart-Thermostat-Works-Amazon/dp/B06W56TBLN/


wifi stat - ecobee4 w Alexa.JPG

PREMIUM CHOICE

Ecobee 4 - $ 247, 3-Heat, 2-Cool, Alexa-Enabled
https://www.amazon.com/ecobee4-Alexa-Enabled-Thermostat-Sensor-Amazon/dp/B06W2LQY6L/


wifi stat - emerson sensi color.JPG

Emerson Sensi Color Touch - $ 169, 2 Heat, 2 Cool, GE/HP
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N3CEUDH?psc=1


Emerson Sensi - $ 99, 1 Heat, 1 Cool, GE/HP
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HHE6CW2?psc=1


wifi stat - nest.JPG

Nest - $ 249, 3-Heat, 2-Cool
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0131RG6VK/





wifi stat -Honeywell 7-day.JPG

Honeywell Basic 7-day - $ 90, 1-Heat, 1-Cool, GE, Color: White (Yes this is WiFi--even though it doesn't look like anything other than an inexpensive thermostat)
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00Y6M2OUC/




wifi stat - Lux Pro Black.JPG
wifi stat - Lux Pro.JPG

VALUE CHOICE #1

Lux PRO GEO - $ 115, Geofencing, Mount Vertical or Horizontal, Color: Black or White
https://www.amazon.com/Lux-Products-GEO-WH-Thermostat-Amazon/dp/B010PTKWW6/


wifi stat - RadioThermostat.JPG

RadioThermostat - $ 99, 2-Heat, 2-Cool, GE/HP, Modules for Zigbee & Z-Wave
https://www.amazon.com/Radio-Thermostat-Programmable-Enabled-Controls/dp/B00KQS35XA/


wifi stat - Vine.JPG

VALUE CHOICE #2

*Vine - $ 99, Settings Knob, Color Screen & Night-Light
https://www.amazon.com/Vine-Programmable-Thermostat-Touchscreen-Nightlight/dp/B01JU1DZN8/



Any information in this article should be verified with the manufacturer of each product listed.  Specifications, prices & availability are all subject to change and will not be kept current on this post.  Please email us if you have any questions.

ALSO NOTE:  We (I) have not been paid or compensated in any way for this article by any of the manufacturers of these products.  I have not even received any free product... anything reviewed has been purchased through retail outlets and tested with SmartZone zone control products for the use of ZoningSupply.com customers.  This information is not intended to be exhaustive or claim expert knowledge about all of these thermostats.  Thank you.

Zoning for comfort and / or economy... basics of HVAC Zoning

homeownerszoning supplyComment

We have explained in other posts on ZoningSupply.com, when it comes to HVAC zoning, each application must be evaluated individually.  Situations vary widely from building to building, but, in all cases HVAC Zone Control puts the user (homeowner, building manager, etc) in control of comfort.

Let's rewind, what is zoning?  Homes and buildings that have "central" heating and air conditioning typically have 1 thermostat that controls the whole house temperature.  With zoning, multiple thermostats can be placed throughout the house to better control temperature throughout.  SmartZone connects to all of the thermostats & automatically controls dampers (air valves) installed in the air ducts.  These air ducts direct air from the heating & cooling equipment to the different areas or "zones" of the home/building.  The dampers allow SmartZone to direct air only where needed.

Once a SmartZone has been installed, you will have the ability to set each of the zone thermostats to whatever temperature or settings you desire.  SmartZone will, within reason, keep each zone at the correct temperature by running the equipment and directing hot or cold air into the zones only when necessary.  This achieves the purpose of comfort control to manage hot or cold areas of your home. 

As for energy savings, if some of the zones are rarely used and can stay off for a sufficient amount of time, the equipment will run for a shorter time to heat or cool the rest of the building.  This and other applications that allow the user to turn off or set-back one or more of the zones can, in some cases, result in energy savings.  Some sources have published % energy savings possible with zoning, however, this is too arbitrary to have any real meaning.  Like stated at the beginning, every application is different & the real possibility of energy savings is in the hands of the user and how the thermostats are set. 

Zoning is an amazing solution to comfort issues and gives the user ultimate control over comfort throughout the home or building.  However, zone control is NOT a magic bullet for energy savings.  HVAC Zoning only puts more control in the hands of the user & it is ultimately the thermostats and how they are set that determines potential energy savings.

Use Wifi thermostats with SmartZone for ultimate control over comfort and energy use.

Use Wifi thermostats with SmartZone for ultimate control over comfort and energy use.

The reality is that in a normal home with one thermostat, the only way to get more "comfort" is to spend more energy (ie run the AC or heat).  With zoning, you can stay more comfortable in some areas while reducing run-time by not heating/cooling other areas.

SmartZone is the best hvac zone control for upgrades or new-installs.  Order today and install yourself of call any HVAC contractor in your area for installation.

Spring is HVAC maintenance season... think about Zone Control.

homeownerszoning supplyComment

With warmer weather approaching, upstairs or certain areas of your home can become uncomfortably warm without SmartZone. HVAC zone control can make the entire home more comfortable in the hottest Summer months. 

Most homes with a single thermostat have some issues with keeping everyone, everywhere in the house comfortable.  With SmartZone, thermostats are places throughout the home to achieve comfort everywhere... and if you choose to turn off some of the areas (zones), you can even save energy.  Most importantly, however, SmartZone can make your home more comfortable than it is now.  See the slides below for how it works.

How it works...

  1. SmartZone is connected to several Thermostats placed in "zones" throughout the home or building.
  2. SmartZone is connected to the Air Conditioning (AC) and Heating equipment.
  3. Dampers (air valves) are installed in the existing ducts that connect to room vents in the "zones."
  4. SmartZone controls the AC & Heating equipment AND opens/closes dampers to control air to the zones based on the thermostats.

There is obviously a lot more to HVAC Zone control than the above bullet points.  Bypass & static pressure, duct sizing & damper leakage, thermostat & equipment types, equipment modes & changeover, compressor staging, emergency & auxiliary heat... and much more.  The good news is that SmartZone takes the guess work out of the potential complications of zoning.  Check out more about why SmartZone is the best choice here.

Hot upstairs "bonus" room? Cold downstairs during the winter?

homeownerszoning supplyComment
SmartZone HVAC Zone control

These and many other common problems can occur during the winter months when the heater is running more than normal.  This can especially happen in areas that have cooling systems to handle warm and hot summer months.  The duct is often designed to be optimized in the summer months and when heat season rolls around, the airflow balance is all wrong.  The solution is Zone Control.  Even in the best designed duct systems, dampers are often used to balance the airflow on site.  This is tedious and inexact... but with SmartZone controls and power dampers, your home can be comfortable everywhere year round.

"I have personally been in too many to count homes with two stories that NEED zoning... there is nothing wrong with the equipment capacity or the ductwork, they just need the ability to direct airflow in the areas that need it in different seasons of the year or even times of day"  -- SmartZone Contractor

See how it works in more detail here

2016: QUESTIONS from ONLINE CUSTOMERS

Support, homeownerszoning supplyComment

QUESTION: Will SmartZone replace Honeywell Trol-a-temp?

ANSWER: The SmartZone-4X is a "drop-in" replacement for all of the Honeywell boards.

Photo by spates/iStock / Getty Images

QUESTION: I live in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Are there any qualified installers for the Smart Zone dampers?

ANSWER: Although we have customers in other parts of Canada, we do not have any specific HVAC contractor customers in Toronto. Any reputable HVAC contractor with previous experience installing zoning should be able to install the Ecojay SmartZone controls or dampers. Many do-it-yourself folks have also successfully installed Ecojay's controls/dampers without difficulty. If your contractor is not specifically familiar with SmartZone controls they can reach our technical support line, 844-ZONE-123, for assistance if needed. Feel free to contact us with additional questions.


QUESTION: I have an old DuroZone system (model SMZ-SW) that has stopped working and am looking for a replacement solution and have been researching the Smartzone option.  I have a few questions and wanted to see if you could help me.

  1. I'm not sure what has failed with the DuroZone system, but I wanted to first see if I replaced the controller with the Smartzone controller if it would work.  Will the Smartzone controller work with the DuroZone dampers ?
  2. Would you be able to put me in touch with an installer who could do the installation and testing of the smartzone controller ?  I'm not overly handy and would prefer a knowledgeable installer to do the install and tests.

ANSWER:

  1. Ecojay's SmartZone products are compatible with your current DuroZone controller.  Your existing thermostats and dampers are normally compatible with SmartZone.as well. Wiring the dampers into SmartZone may be different depending on the model dampers you have. We can provide damper wiring instructions when you or your installer inform us the damper models you have. 
  2. The change out of your existing Durozone controller should be simple for any competent hvac contractor even if they haven't used Smartzone before.  Zoning Supply can also be contacted for technical support toll free if you or the installer need technical assistance. 

QUESTION: I have a Honeywell Chronotherm 111 system with one main panel and three mercury thermostat controllers. I have been informed that my control panel is inoperative and three dampers have failed. I would like to upgrade the system with out
losing the capability/control of the temperature in each room. I am in dire need to correct/improve my system with the Honeywell product.

ANSWER: The Honeywell Chronotherm III thermostat (models T8600, T8601 & T8603) are 24VAC powered according to Honeywell's spec sheet and should be compatible with any Ecojay SmartZone controller.


QUESTION: My customer has a Carrier/Parker zone system, not sure what version. I want to replace the complete system minus the dampers. Currently there is a main controller, bypass controller and six zones. The bypass could be converted to a dump zone. Wireless is also an option. What do you think?

ANSWER:  From our knowledge of the Carrier-Parker controls, it is VVT control system  and Carrier released two generations of the product line that we know of.  One or both generations used dampers that had DC powered, multi-position actuators. Carrier has also tended to use a more proprietary control flow using a pulsed or multi-position damper actuator which do not have an internal stop switch.  SmartZone outputs 24VAC continuously on either the OPEN damper circuit or CLOSE damper circuit with the actuator using an internal stop switch to switch off power when it reaches stop in either open or close position. This is typical of most conventional residential/light commercial zone control brands and product-lines today. If your customer's current system does not match this specification you will need to change out the damper actuators if installing Ecojay SmartZone or any other major 24VAC brand control product. Ecojay's damper actuators have a torque rating of 18 in-lb/2 Nm and can work with a round or square shaft of 1/4" to 5/8" diameter.
SmartZone is expandable up to 20 zones, capable of 2C/3H stages and is compatible with any conventional 24VAC controlled equipment including heat pump or heat pump with dual fuel. SmartZone is also compatible with all off the shelf 24VAC thermostats. If you are able to supply the specific product model your customer is using I can probably be more specific about the compatibility issues.


SmartZone-4X
199.00 299.00
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QUESTION: I have a Honeywell Trol-a-temp Model MABS-2 422041-2 with a Mastertrol Add-a-zone model MAZ-1 TAT422027. This is a 4 zone electric system, heat pump with Emergency heat. I have the Master which control s the Emergency heat plus e thermostats. I would like to upgrade the Panel so that I can put a digital thermostat as the master.

ANSWER: SmartZone-4X will work for you.
http://zoningsupply.com/buy/smartzone-4x


QUESTION: I am looking to use this product with a 2 zone system that has 2 wire dampers. I have to power 4 dampers per zone. Will this produced do so? I am using 8" round dampers and there are 4 per floor.

ANSWER: All Ecojay SmartZone controls are compatible with 2 and 3 wire dampers. They can even be mixed on the same zone. SmartZone can support up to four 2 wire dampers (up to ten 3 wire dampers) on each zone.  Dampers and thermostats are powered from the SmartZone controller. It is important to determine the VA capacity of the transformer needed to power SmartZone as the number of devices powered from the controller increase. In your installation, the transformer used to power the SmartZone controller will need to support the power demand of the zone controller (12VA), 8 dampers (2-wire dampers at 7-10VA each), and 2 thermostats (2VA each). Total potential transformer VA demand from these components collectively total 96VA (12+80+4). However, assuming your 2 wire dampers are power close/spring open, power demand from the dampers will occur only when the dampers are closed. With a 2 zone system, you will never see both zones closed at the same time (all dampers default to open when no zones are calling) so your maximum power demand will be only from 4 dampers. This changes the maximum potential power demand to 62VA (12+40+4). A 75VA - 24VAC transformer will be capable of providing adequate power for your system. This size transformer is readily available on Ebay and many other web stores.  If your 2 wire dampers are power open/spring close (this type is typically used only for fresh air ventilation) then you will need a transformer with a VA capacity of 100VA minimum.  Visit our zoningsupply.com website and review the ZS2X/4X installation guide for more information on installation. Thank you for contacting Zoning Supply with your question. We appreciate your interest in our SmartZone products.


QUESTION: The 9580 thermostat uses delta T (difference between actual room and called for temps) as part of the staging calculation.  If the staging function of the thermostat is replaced by the zone controller, how does the controller get delta T, or is is not used?  If not, ow does it determine staging...is it rate of temp change sensed by the probe?

ANSWER: SmartZone uses algorithms based on time and supply air temperature (as measured at the supply air plenum) to control staging. Each time the equipment is started SmartZone will require a minimum run time in stage 1 before it will consider staging. This initial run time allows for the equipment to achieve a stable temperature in heat or cool before determining if staging up is necessary. After the initial run time requirement is achieved SmartZone compares supply air temperature to the cut-in temperature settings and will stage up if conditions are met. When the equipment is running stage 2 SmartZone will compare supply air temperature to the cut-out temperature and will return to stage 1 if conditions are met. SmartZone staging algorithms will vary the time and temperature elements based on equipment type (gas/electric or heat pump) and mode of operation (cool or heat). The SmartZone Installation manual included with your product provides detailed information about the sequence of operations for adjusting staging settings including the specific algorithms used for each equipment type and their modes of operation.

 

SmartZone on TV - Greenovate Episode: Austin, TX

homeownerszoning supplyComment

I believe this first aired in 2006 - making this system at least 10 years old.  I have made contact with the homeowner through the original installer and it turns out that it is still working great.  Since then, they have upgraded to NEST thermostats but nothing else has changed.  They are considering upgrading the equipment to higher efficiency stuff that is available now but still want to keep SmartZone in place.

More unbiased Zone control discusson on homeenergy

Other HVACzoning supplyComment

-------------------------------------------
QUESSTION by
Adam Zielinski

Homeowners with forced air duct systems always want to close the registers in rooms they aren't using, and close the doors to those rooms, in the belief that doing so will save energy and money.
I always thought doing this was over-rated and unlikely to save a significant amount of energy or money.  I could see doing it for one or two rooms perhaps, but sometimes homeowners close off half of their house or more.
This creates unbalanced air flow in the duct system and likely results in over heating the furnace heat exchanger, and or short cycling the furnace.  So the furnace spends a lot of time in start up mode and less time at peak efficiency.
I have not seen any real studies done on this however.  I'd like to see some data or research on this.

Reply by dale conner
Adam, most furnaces will move the proper amount of air through the blower and heat exchanger if the furnace cabinet pressure doesnt exceed .5 IWC and the furnace capacity was chosen based on a manual J calculation. This information can be found in the furnace installation manual or IOM (installation,operation,maintenance) that comes with a new furnace. However, this does not mean we are getting adequate air delivery to all of the rooms in the house due to excessive air leakage in the ducts and/or incorrect duct lengths or diameters routed to each room.

-----------------------------------------
QUESTION by Judi Lyall

How about using a motorized damper ?

Reply by dale conner
A single motorized damper can be used to control a zoned area but you also have to install a barometric by-pass damper to prevent over pressurization
www.zoningsupply.com

-----------------------------------------

See full discussion: http://homeenergypros.lbl.gov/group/hvac/forum/topic/show?id=6069565%3ATopic%3A7207

Honeywell TrueZone ARD Dampers wiring to SmartZone

Supportzoning supplyComment

The latest form Honeywell ARD dampers is a nice looking product and works nicely with ecojay SmartZone.  Wire as shown below.  Other damper wiring at www.zoningsupply.com/blog


SmartZone-4X
199.00 299.00
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PRO-Grade Power Zone Damper (Round)
from 99.00
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Quantity:
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SmartZone has the simplest setup and best features of any zone control. Find out more about SmartZone and why it's the smart choice: www.zoningsupply.com/buy-smartzone/

Best damper motor (actuator) on the market... we tested them all.

Productszoning supplyComment

Well, maybe not technically ALL of them but dozens and even more than in this photo.

We narrowed down by specs that would work for us first.  Between 30 and 60 second travel time, 90 deg rotation, at least 1.5nM torque, lower than 3.5VA power consumption, 24Vac operation, clutch free movement, minimum open/close, range of 3/8" to 1/2" shaft and more.  Once we narrowed down to here we still had about 6 or 8 motors and we tested the top 5 for full 10 year accelerated life and field testing.  Some we even used in production for a while.  We are now confident when we proclaim that the Belimo motor that is made for ecojay and we sell with SmartZone wins in all categories... reliability, noise & installation/setup.

ecojay smartzone hvac zone damper actuator motor
PRO-Grade Power Zone Damper (Round)
from 99.00
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Power Open/Close Motor
59.99 79.99
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Why SmartZone is the best zone controller.

Zone Control Infozoning supplyComment
  • Screwless wiring (push-in) – No screwdriver required
  • Color coded leds show inputs and outputs on every terminal – no voltmeter required
  • EASY pushbutton & dip switch setup makes configuration a snap and confirmation of settings in just a glance – NO manual needed
  • Temperature sensor included & supply temp displayed on the bright led display, visible even in the dark – NO flashlight needed
  • MODES SHOWN ON DISPLAY tell you what the board is doing at all times in plain english – NO guessing what codes mean
  • SmartZone can be used with any equipment – Heat Pump, Gas, Electric, radiant, geothermal, etc. as long as it is controlled by 24v.
  • Single-stage & Multi-Stage equipment can be used (3 heat & 2 cooling stages)
  • Heat pump equipment can be used with auxiliary & emergency heat – both electric and dual fuel -  flawlessly with SmartZone (requires heat pump thermostat connected to Zone 1)
  • SmartZone can be paired with any thermostat from the most expensive WiFi stat to the cheapest mechanical thermostat.
  • Any 24v damper (Spring or power) can be controlled by SmartZone
  • Smartzone has exclusive advanced features:
    •     - Economy Mode allows setback of all zones with the     flip of a switch.  When in eco mode, the system will only     energize if zone 1 makes a call.  This feature is great for vacations or if some of the zones are rarely used.
    •     - Fresh air control allows control of an outside air damper and the system fan on a schedule to bring in fresh air in a prescribed amount.  If fresh air control is required, smartzone-4x has it covered with no additional controls required.  Save $
    • - Smartlink: expand to 20 zones by simply connecting multiple 4X boards together with the smartlink bus. Easiest & most cost effective system for more than 5 zones!
  • Smart staging & limit protection – by using a sophisticated time and temperature algorithm perfected over decades of programming, smartzone stages up and down in the most effective and efficient manner possible.
  • 2nd stage lockout – by setting this dip switch, smartzone will only allow 2nd stage if more than one zone is calling
  • Stage from zone 1 thermostat – allows for a multi-stage thermostat to be connected to zone 1 and control zoning instead of SmartZone (not recommended in typical circumstances)

Retro thermostat... 1982 Electronics Guide review of Magic-Stat

Other HVACzoning supplyComment
magic-stat.jpg

Published in Playboy's Electronic Entertainment guide in Fall 1982. 

This is off of our normal subject but I came across this old magazine that includes other articles like "There's more to life than Pac-Man: How to beat Donkey Kong" and "What computers can do for you" which says that "VisiCalc is the most popular program of all time with 250,000 copies sold".  And it included a scathing review of this Magic-Stat product.  Sold for $79 mail order.  At first glance, I thought it was just another ugly thermostats in a long history that still goes on today.  Then i read the article which explains a "LEARN" mode that makes it easier to set much like the nest would do decades later.  Also, it claims to have what is now reffered to as "adaptive recovery".  This is where the thermostat starts the equipment before the set time so it can get the home to temperature at a specified time instead of just starting to get to temperature at the time of setpoint.  I haven't done any fact-checking, but it says they are the first thermostat to do this... too bad it took 20 years for this to become a more standard feature.

Here are a few more pics I took of the magazine...i claim no rights or ownership of any of this material.

Zoning System Troubleshooting

Supportzoning supplyComment

Because a zone control system interacts with so many different parts (thermostats, transformers, heating/cooling equipment, dampers & temperature sensor), a zoning system can be daunting to troubleshoot when there is a problem.  However, we have realized that there are really just a few common issues are the cause most all of the issues. With a combined 20+ years of zoning questions and technical support calls, we have tried here to boil down to the top 5 reason 99% of zoning systems have a problem.  These do not include a potential problem with the configuration of the Zone Control itself.  The troubleshooting of the zone control configuration is covered well in most Installation Guides.

1. Equipment
   Refrigerant charge, fan speed, wiring, power, etc.
   Always verify that the equipment is working properly first!
2. Thermostats
  a. Incompatible with zone panel
  b. Defective thermostat
  c. Wiring defect
3. Zone Dampers
  a. Actuator failure
  b. Mechanical failure
  c. DUCT Sizing (not enough or too much CFM)
  d. Wiring defect
4. Bypass/Relief
  a. Actuator failure
  b. Sensor (Static Pressure sensor defect)
  c. Mechanical failure
  d. Setup (Modulating calibration or weight arm setting)
  e. Orientation of installation (SPC or barometric bypass)
  f. Improper sizing (not enough CFM capacity)
  g. Wiring defect
5. Power
  a. Transformer fuse
  b. Wiring defect
  c. Primary circuit problem (shared/capacity, breaker)
  d. Improperly sized transformer (not enough VA)

For help troubleshooting your system contact the experts at zoningsupply.com directly via email or phone.

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