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.
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.
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:
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.
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)
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.
Happy Holidays from ZoningSupply... 2016 has been our best year yet. Looking forward to new products and innovations in 2017
Most people enjoy a good crackling fireplace when it's cold and snowy during the winter months even it isn't the primary source of heat for our homes these days... at least for most of us. One problem that is common with homes that only have a single thermostat (no zoning) is that when a fire is burning, areas away from the fire get colder than the rest of the house. Zone control can be the perfect solution...
QUESTION: I have two 9580 thermostats one in the office, the other in the main hangar bay (two zones). When heating both zones or only the hangar, I need the furnace to go full blower with normal scheduling through stages 1 and 2. When servicing only the small office area, I don't want the system to advance from stage 1. Unfortunately, the office is so small and the modulating schedule of the furnace is still too much airflow for the office (the zone bypass when servicing the office is the main hangar modulating damper that is controlled via SPC (excess dumps into hangar)). This damper will be wide open during call for hangar heat. The main damper control logic is managed through a 3PDT 24 Vac relay. So, I need to block out stage 2 from only 1 zone (office). The zone ramping schedule of the 9580 works well with the 100k modulating furnace control board, and would like to keep that capability.
ANSWER: Configure the zone 1 thermostat connector STAT TYPE to G2 (conventional gas/electric) or H2 (heat pump) to allow the thermostat to control staging and use the hangar thermostat on zone 1. Wire only the stage 1 circuits (Y1 and W1) on the office thermostat to the zone 2 thermostat connector (Also connect R, C and G wires). Set dipswitch 4 to the LOCKOUT position. This will configure the zone controller to allow 2nd stage only when the hangar thermostat calls for 2nd stage regardless of whether the office thermostat is calling. When the office thermostat is calling and the hangar thermostat is not, SmartZone will not allow 2nd stage to operate.
ANSWER: The SmartZone controller typically controls staging based on the total system conditions which is the most efficient way to operate a multi-zoned multi-staged hvac system. However, the zone1 thermostat connector on SmartZone can be configured to allow the thermostat to control staging (refer to the top of page 10 of the installation manual). When the zone1 thermostat is configured for staging the ability to lockout 2nd stage with only 1 zone calling is disabled. With the thermostat controlling staging your ability to limit staging will be determined by the features of your Honeywell 9580 instead of the SmartZone control.
ANSWER: Updating your zone controller to a SmartZone 2 zone controller will allow you to use any 24VAC thermostat. SmartZone controls are designed to be universally compatible with 24VAC thermostats including WI-FI models used to control your thermostat remotely through the internet on your smart phone or tablet. You should be able to connect any 24VAC thermostat to a SmartZone control without any problems.
ANSWER: ZoningSupply does not carry thermostats, however, SmartZone controllers are compatible with any 24VAC powered 5 or 6 wire thermostat. Popular brands our customers install with SmartZone include Honeywell, ICM, Braeburn, Nest, Ecobee, Aprilaire, Lux, Lyric, and MANY others. We suggest you avoid using low priced 'power stealing' thermostats as they may cause intermittent issues if your utility power fluctuates. Power stealing thermostats are typically low priced and can be identified by the lack of a C (common) terminal on the thermostat wall mounting plate.
If you are looking for a WiFi thermostat check out this other article:
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.
Do the wires from the condenser-outside and the system board on the air handler connect to the terminal labeled Equipment on your install sheet ?
Assuming you are installing zoning for the first time, the wires connecting to the equipment connector on SmartZone are the same wires that connected to the single thermostat you used to control your equipment before installing SmartZone. The terminal labels from your thermostat should be the same or similar to those on the equipment terminal. If you see only a Y and W terminal on the thermostat then the wires from those thermostat terminals will go to Y1 and W1 respectively on the SmartZone equipment terminal. Your hvac equipment controls will be powered by a 24VAC transformer that should be connected to the C and Rh (or you can use the Rc instead of Rh terminal because the two are jumpered together) on the SmartZone equipment connector. Typically the wires connecting to the SmartZone equipment terminal will come from your hvac equipment control board located in the blower cabinet. In some installations, the Y wire is typically yellow colored (or Y1 and Y2 if you have a multispeed system) may come from the outdoor condensing unit. If you have a heat pump you should also have a wire (typically orange) in the W2/OB equipment terminal on SmartZone.
What is the O/B dip switch and what does O-B do?
The dip switch for O or B determines the way the refrigerant reversing valve works for cooling and heating mode. The setting you use will be determined by the hvac equipment brand you have. O will energize the reversing valve during the cooling mode and B will energize the reversing valve during heating. Typically Rheem/RUUD equipment will require the dip switch to be set to B and all other brands will use O, however, check with the equipment manufacturer to be sure.
Feel free to contact our technical support line at 844-966-3123 if you need additional information or assistance. We appreciate your interest in our line of Ecojay SmartZone control products. Thanks for contacting us with your questions.
CUSTOMER EMAIL: I have a 10 year old Honeywell EMM-3 zone controller. I turned the heater on this year and nothing....The system led on the emm-3 was off, I hit the boot button and the led came on and the heater started to run but a couple of minutes later the led went off and the heater stopped. Did this twice. Am I correct in assuming its the emm-3 that's bad? If so I would like to replace it with one of your Ecojay zone controllers. I have a two zone system installed around 2006. Will your system work with the existing other components...from what I've read I assume yes.
ANSWER: Based on the information you provided it would seem likely your EMM-3 zone controller has bit the dust. You should check to make sure the R and C wires at theZONE PANEL TRANSFORMER connector at the bottom right corner of the zone board are securely tightened to ensure the transformer power connection wires are not loose and causing intermittent power loss. Ecojay's ZS2X-2.0 and ZS2L-T are compatible replacements for your EMM-3. If your dampers work properly with the EMM-3 they should work the same way with Ecojay zone controls. Same goes for your thermostats. (Must have a COMMON wire)
What is the difference between the 2X and the 2L (SmartZone Lite)?
The 2X and 2L-T are the same functionally speaking. They are both multi-stage compatible (up to 2 cool/3 heat stages) for conventional gas/electric, heat pump and heat pump with dual fuel hvac equipment. Both display supply air temperature, each zone's thermostat call and damper open/close states and equipment operating mode. The most significant difference is the 2X has more granularity for adjusting equipment high/low temperature limit equipment protection settings. The 2X limit settings can be adjusted in 1 degree increments and the 2L-T gives you the option of 2 fixed low and high limit temperature settings. The 2X includes a supply air temperature sensor in the box whereas the 2L can be ordered with (ZS2L-T) or without (ZS2L) a sensor. We strongly encourage ordering a supply air temperature sensor with the 2L. Do not use the sensor from your existing EMM-3. Beyond those differences, the ZS2L-T is at a lower price point. Both zone controllers, as do all Ecojay products we offer, include a 5 year replacement warranty.
CUSTOMER EMAIL: I recently purchased and installed several of your 3 wire zone dampers using an existing control system. During the process I released the clutch and opened and closed the dampers several times for temporary operation. Do I need to go thru a setup process? Can the actuator figure out the damper position?
ANSWER: The actuators will "reset" themselves back to correct open and closed positions the next time they are powered by the SmartZone panel. There is no need to adjust or configure the dampers after the clutch has been pressed and damper blade rotated. If, however, the "u" bolt that holds the shaft is loosened then the damper blade should be oriented is in the same position as the motor (open or closed) when it is re-tightened.
Question: What would be the best settings for a Carrier 5 Ton Geothermal Unit with 3/2 Heat Cool? Would you set all zones to HP or (Zone 1 to H2) and (Zone 2&3 to HP) and set the Ecobee zone 1 to have some or all control?
I am a little confused by this... Thanks!
ANSWER: Since the zone controller, by default, controls staging for the entire system and knows what all zone are doing you don't need to use the Ecobee on zone 1 to control staging unless you have a particular situation or preference to use it that way. Your equipment will normally operate more efficiently under most circumstances which should translate to lower utility costs if you allow SmartZone to handle staging.
The most common practice we see with heat pump equipment using SmartZone is to use a HP thermostats on all zones. This tends to be the least confusing way of operating the system. One not is that you can ONLY control Em. Heat from ZONE 1. For this reason, some people choose to use a GE stat on zones 2 - 4 to eliminates the confusion about where emergency heat can be manually controlled. Since, most thermostats can be configured for both HP or GE operation so it is your preference. The critical step is that you set the STAT TYPE on SmartZone to the type of thermostat installed on each zone. See INSTALL GUIDE
EMAIL QUESTION: I have a 2 zone forced air (gas) heat/cooling system controlled via a DuroZone SWZ-SW zone controller and paired with DuroZone Multiline dampers (4) total. Current thermostats are White-Rodgers. I want to replace the current thermostats with a pair of Nest thermostats. Apparently the existing zone controller is not compatible due to the reliance on both O and B wires to tell the zone controller what mode the system is in (heat or cool). I stumbled on to this site and the recommended zone controller. Would the SmartZone 2x work in this case? If so are there any guides on installation that would make this easy to accomplish?
ANSWER: SmartZone control products are compatible with the Nest thermostat and all 24VAC hvac equipment including gas/electric, heat pumps and heat pumps with dual fuel.. You can follow the link below to view the SmartZone Installation manual on the Zoning Supply website. Please contact us by phone at 844-966-3123 or email with any questions about SmartZone installation, operation or zoning in general.
HERE IS HOW TO WIRE THE DAMPERS: http://zoningsupply.com/blog/smartzone-can-be-used-with-any-24v-damper
QUESTION: I have a Lennox variable speed modulating furnace. Will your system work with my furnace?
ANSWER: If your controls are 24VAC (most residential hvac systems are) the furnace should work with our SmartZone controls. If you are not sure if you have 24VAC controls, remove your thermostat from the wall and look for wiring terminals labeled W, W1 or W2. These are the circuits that control the furnace for 24VAC systems. If you have any of these terminals on your thermostat and have wires connected to any of them your furnace is compatible with SmartZone.
QUESTION: Can more then one damper be wired to one damper output? Have 3 zones that have 2 supply ducts each.
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.
Are Zoned Heating/Cooling Systems a Good or Bad Idea?
Excerpt from homeenergypros discussion about HVAC Zone controls.
QUESTION by Jon LaMonte
For starters, I live in Atlanta, Ga and I am not an HVAC pro so this is a serious question that I would like answered for one of my clients. I understand the premise of a zoned system and on the surface, it sounds like a good idea. Then I considered the fact that I have always told my customers that it is a bad idea to close off vents in rooms they are not in because of duct leakage. Also, the second law of thermodynamics simply states the hot goes to cold, so now the unheated areas are doing their best to rob warm air from the heated areas. Finally, if your zoning a single system, aren't you creating on oversizing issue because the unit (that was probably oversized in the first place) is now servicing a smaller area than what it was designed for?
Reply1 by Chris Heenan
Zoning has benefits beyond temp control. Most often the home does not require the full 2 stage heat or cooling as the system only needs to satisfy a portion of the home. So, then if 1/2 the heated air goes through a properly sized and balance bypass, the return air (from home) will mix with warm supply (from bypass) before going thru the system again. You may not need to go beyond 1stage heat (or cool) except in extremes. This is most beneficial in raising supply temps from heat pumps when in winter mode. Most supply vents feel 'cool' to homeowner. Not so when zoned and not call on all zones.
Flip it to cool, and the bypass send dehumidified cooler air across the coil. Decreasing high side pressures and amp draw of compressor. Then the air gets more heat extracted and further dehumidified. Pulling out additional condensate and running less. Remember systems have to be careful not to oversize as dehumidification is crucial to comfort. Dry and cool temps out supply vent. Not too shabby.
Reply2 by dale conner
Zone sytems are rarely installed properly but can be efficient if properly designed. The goal is to be able to set back the temperature a few degrees in a zone that isnt being utilized while keeping another zone comfortable that is being utilized. A single unit with a zone system will have a by-pass duct sytem to dump the air thats been cut off from one zone back into the duct system to be used in the zone that is being used.
*Reply3 by James Jackson on
Have you ever been driving down the interstate hwy and come up on an exit ramp that has traffic backed up? As the traffic backs up and eventually fills the exit with cars you end up with a slight back up on the entire highway. this is the closest scenario i have been able to come up to help people understand why closing doors and vents is a bad idea. if you have a run off of a main trunk and you close the outlet or register you will cause the air to back up into the trunk causing turbulence in the trunk line resulting in a decrease in air flow in other areas on the system. this can also cause multiple other problems like pulsing and excessive noise from the increase in pressure.
another thing to remember when you shut doors in a home with no return air you cause a difference in pressure in the home. The room you have closed is now significantly positively pressurized and the house is now under a negative pressure. This why some homes have the doors undercut by 3-4 inches trying to allow the air to get back to the return.
Ok as far as the zone system goes... There is so much more thought involved in properly setting up a quality zone system that i see very few done correctly. If you want to do one correctly you first need to make sure you are using a multi-stage HVAC unit so the unit can run on low speed if it is only conditioning one zone. A bypass or crossover duct with a barometric damper is needed if you are conditioning a small zone and the air handler is still supplying too much air, but if you are going the zone route don’t use contractor grade units and piece it together with a simple zone controller. Get a high efficiency v speed unit that is designed for this application.
But what happens when you change the temps in a zone in the house 4-5 degrees?? Energy moves from hot to cold so you end up indirectly heating or cooling the entire space regardless. This brings us to another scenario. The return air in the zone that is off. My experience with working on correcting issues with homes using zone systems has been the returns are never dampered so if the zone is completely shut off you have just installed a permanent blower door. if the zone is off one you are returning hotter or colder air to the system and two you are causing that zone to have a negative pressure.
Just some things to think about !!
Learn more at www.zoningsupply.com
My editorial conclusion:
Zoning CAN be effective if and ONLY if it's designed and installed properly. This means ducts, dampers, equipment size (tons). It also means the right zone panel setup with energy saving features like SmartZone. Finally, to make zoning work best and comfort control and energy savings, the home owner must properly control the thermostats. Zoning isn't a "set-it-and-forget-it" system, it must be managed to be effective. More articles about zoning
See full discussion: http://homeenergypros.lbl.gov/group/hvac/forum/topic/show?id=6069565%3ATopic%3A7207
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.
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.