During the cold days winter it's nice to get cozy by the fireplace or curl up under a warm blanket.. or in the summer you might find yourself standing in front of the air conditioner vents or a fan for a little relief from the heat. Is this because it's just not possible for your entire home to be comfortable? It may be because you are concerned with the energy use or $$ being spent to keep the home cool/warm OR it may be that certain areas of your home just never seem to be comfortable. If one or more rooms in your home seem to ALWAYS be outside your "comfort zone", Ecojay's SmartZone may be able to help. Directing airflow (heat/cool) to the rooms that you want, can make rooms in your home comfortable when you want them to be.
Installing zone control in your home allows you to add thermostats to several areas (rooms) so temperature can be controlled throughout the house. Most homes have only a single thermostat located in a "central" area. This means the temperature of the whole house is determined at this one spot. With zone control, temperature is measured and controlled in each zone for more comfort everywhere.
There are many reasons that zone control might be desirable (or even necessary).
- Homes with two stories where the upstairs is regularly warmer than downstairs during the winter can benefit from zone control.
- If a house has a fireplace that causes some areas of the home to get too cold when a fire is burning, zone control can help balance the temperature and keep those cold areas warm.
- Bonus rooms or unused bedrooms can be turned off with zone control when not in use.
- Computer rooms or grow areas that need to be a different (more consistent) temperature than the rest of the house.
Zone control can balance temperatures to create a comfortable living space throughout your home or create different temperatures throughout a building for varying needs.
CLICK HERE to find out more about how HVAC Zone Control works and if it will work for you.
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.
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.
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).
- Select a DH enabled thermostat of your choice
- Connect Y2/ECO on SmartZone Zone 1 to Zone 1 Thermostat DH/DS/BK
- Connect Y2 on SmartZone Equipment toEquipment DH/DS/BK
- Set Zone 1 "STAT TYPE" to G2
- 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.
Typical wording for HVAC Mechanical drawings to include SmartZone Zone control (2 to 8 zones):
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
VALUE CHOICE #1
Lux PRO GEO - $ 115, Geofencing, Mount Vertical or Horizontal, Color: Black or White
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.
Some systems with many small ducts leading to each zone can require lots of dampers. The example below is a 2 zone system that requires 6 dampers per zone (12 total). If you look at the zoning guide, you will find that you should budget for at least 55VA for this system... but you only have 40 VA transformers. 75 and 100 VA transformers can get VERY expensive! Instead you can use two 40VA transformers, but not how you think. It can be dangerous and unreliable to connect transformers in parallel to create ~80VA. We recommend the method below that employs the use of a simple relay to separate half of the dampers to be powered from a second transformer and the other half being powered by the SmartZone and it's transformer.
See the SmartZone Install Guide to calculate required VA.
It is always necessary to verify that the PRIMARY side power is sufficient to power the transformer connected. A dedicated PRIMARY circuit is best but not always possible. If sharing the 110V or 220V circuit, make sure the total power required for all devices connected (including zoning transformers) doesn't exceed the capacity of the circuit (usually 15 or 20 AMPS).
Where to get a relay?
Any 24V relay with a DPST or DPDT configuration will work. The one pictured in the above diagram is available at ZoningSupply.com (see below). If you are chosing your own relay, the "Contact" current rating will determine how many dampers can be connected. (For example: A 10 Amp relay can handle up to 10 power open, power closed dampers)
Tired of flimsy residential-grade rectangular dampers that easily bend and bind and, worse yet, stop working prematurely. We, at ZoningSupply, are too! And, we have the answer with this commercial-grade, super-duty rectangular damper. Like all of our power dampers, it includes the best motor in the industry (Belimo) and now is constructed with heavy guage aluminim for rigidity and long-life.
8" X 8" thru 24" X 24"
New & Improved Heavy-Duty
Aluminum rectangular damper w/ Ecojay by Belimo motor
Built to stand up to use and abuse
SHIPPING TIME: 2 Weeks
(because they are made to order)
RETURNS for rectangular dampers require 35% restocking fee because they are custom made to order... make sure you order the correct size.
NOTE: Order "Height" for the side with the motor.
No other rectangle zone damper on the market is as sturdy or reliable. Simplicity of design and precision manufacturing in the USA (Ohio & Texas) make for the BEST rectangular damper that has ever been available to the residential zone control market. Try it for yourself today.
There are many reasons that distributors should take a look at stocking SmartZone, but basically because they can make more money & have a higher customer satisfaction with a very low up-front investment.
- Only 2 models needed to cover all applications.
A lot of manufacturers require stocking 5,6... even dozens of different products to get the best price. With SmartZone, you only need the SmartZone-2 and the SmartZone-4X. That's right, only 2 models will cover everything from 2 zones to 20 zones, single & multi-stage, gas/electric & heat pump (including dual fuel). As a bonus, the SmartZone-4X has built-in Fresh-Air control.
- Best wholesale pricing.
Options for small and large volume distributors with 30 day NET terms pending credit approval. Start with a small order or only 10 zone controllers. Contact ECOJAY (www.smartzoning.com) for details.
- Documentation & training.
Ecojay is committed to supporting distributors with documentation, signs, marketing materials, phone & online support. Ecojay will even do an in-person training for contractors at new distributor locations (minimum order required for free training - normal price for training $500)
- Increase zone control profits & sales.
SmartZone has allowed many of our distributors to increase sales of zoning because it is so much easier for contractors to use & install... they buy more. Distributors of SmartZone also have increased margins on the higher-end controllers because SmartZone-4X can do everything the Honeywell HZ432 can do at a much lower price.
- Contractors will love you for it.
Even contractors that "don't do zoning" occasionally come across a system that needs it or a customer that wants it. SmartZone is the best the the occasional zoning contractor or the contractor that does it every day. Most contractors that try it, don't want to use anything else.
Right now, only about 25-35% of the US has physical distribution of ECOJAY products, specifically SmartZone. This is a HUGE missed opportunity. Online distribution reaches nationwide, but even this is in it's infancy. SmartZone deserves to be on the shelf of your local distributor and contractors deserve to have access to it. Right now it is available on Amazon.com, Ebay, ZoningSupply.com for contractors in the US & Canada to have in a couple of days shipping time.
It would be great if some of the large online supply houses like ... Supplyhouse.com or AlpineAir.com would stock SmartZone so it could be purchased and shipped along with systems. Or some of the national-chain distributors like Johnstone would also carry SmartZone for the sake of availability and exposure to SmartZone style zoning.
SmartZone is not a new gimmic in zoning, it is simply the BEST traditional forced-air zone control board that is available. SmartZone has been designed with the HVAC contractor in mind and it shows with the feedback that is received over and over again from contractors. SmartZone has been shipping since 2004 and has had rave reviews from the beginning.
Contractors that never liked zoning before even love SmartZone. Many of the problems that people had 10 or 15 years ago with zoning such as freezing coils or short cycling have been solved by more sophisticated zone controls but SmartZone made it simple. Using Ecojay SmartZone makes zoning simple.
First of all, if you are not familiar with HVAC Zoning (Zone control) for your home you can click here and learn more about how it works.
Sometimes, zoning is pitched as a device that can be added to your current HVAC system that will "save you energy" because you are able to turn "off" heating and cooling to areas that are not being used. Sounds good, right? Well...there a "but." This as actually a highly debated or more aptly put... highly contested claim among HVAC professionals.
The simple fact is that it isn't a simple answer but the simplest version is: HVAC Zoning CAN save energy in some applications.
Not all applications of zoning are intended to save energy, some are set up to optimize comfort. In these situations, energy savings may not the top priority but it can still be set up to help save energy when the comfort is not in demand.
Zoning puts the control in the hands of the user (homeowner) via the thermostats. These thermostats can be set to optimize energy savings or comfort... or, most likely, somewhere in between.
Some believe the primary purpose of zoning is comfort & I would agree, but, SmartZone can be used in some applications to save energy by reducing necessary run-time.
As far as I have found there have been very few and NO independent studies on the energy savings capabilities of hvac zone control but I have personally been in the industry for 14 years and I believe I know why. Every test I have seen is try to prove some % of energy savings and yet there is a flaw with even the question that is being asked. The problem with this question is that it is looking for an automatic percentage saving when zoning is installed. I think this gets to the heart of why the professionals that dispute zone control's ability to "save energy" do so.
This is an IMPORTANT NOTE: HVAC Zone Control by itself will NOT save energy. However, it CAN be used to save energy.
A proper study to prove that zone control CAN save energy would be straight-forward. Two identical houses with identical hvac systems, one with a 2 zone system & the other with a single thermostat. On the house with zoning, set one thermostat to OFF 12 hours per day and the other thermostat to run a normal 24hr / 7 day schedule. The thermostat schedule should be the same as the 24hr / 7 day schedule in the house with only one thermostat. This study would show that zoning can save energy if used in certain ways.
SmartZone has been around since 2004 and we have over 200,000 installed in the field. We have seen direct feedback that empirically shows energy savings, not just in isolated cases but in extremely high volume. First hand, real-world experience shows that it can be done, but it also shows that in cases where comfort is the priority... energy savings isn't a guarantee with zone control.
Check out SmartZone at ZoningSupply.com
We are proud to announce the continuation of our damper product line here at ZoningSupply.com with the "Insert-able" damper.
Some applications call for dampers that can be "slipped" into round duct that is spiral or other hard pipe style duct. This is not intended for use with flex-duct but can be used with any other type of hard duct. Simply cut a slit in the duct, insert the damper and screw it down.
4", 5", 6", 7", 8", 9", 10", 12" ROUND Diameter Dampers
Industry-leading quality & highest reliability, Belimo Motor, Full-seal gasket blade, makes mounting in any round duct easy with these super-heavy duty retro-fit slip-in dampers
NOTE: All dampers subject to a 10% restocking fee.
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...
- SmartZone is connected to several Thermostats placed in "zones" throughout the home or building.
- SmartZone is connected to the Air Conditioning (AC) and Heating equipment.
- Dampers (air valves) are installed in the existing ducts that connect to room vents in the "zones."
- 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.
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
Happy Holidays from ZoningSupply... 2016 has been our best year yet. Looking forward to new products and innovations in 2017
QUESTION: Will SmartZone replace Honeywell Trol-a-temp?
ANSWER: The SmartZone-4X is a "drop-in" replacement for all of the Honeywell boards.
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.
- 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 ?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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/
SmartZone is universal and can replace almost any zone system you come across in the field... Also, the 4X can act as a fresh air controller when needed. With built in temp sensor and flexible controls, SmartZone works almost anywhere.
- 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)