ZoningSupply.com - Zone Control

HVAC Zone Controls & Zoning Dampers

zoning system

Where's your Comfort Zone? - SmartZone can help!

homeowners, Zone Control Infozoning supplyComment

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.

SmartZone-4X
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PRO-Grade Power Zone Damper (Round)
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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
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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.

New & Improved Rectangle Dampers available at ZoningSupply.com

Products, HVAC Contractors, ZoningSupplyzoning supplyComment

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.

Heavy-Duty

Rectangle Damper

Rectangular HVAC Dampers
from 175.00

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

SPEC SHEET

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.

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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.

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.

SmartZone is great for fireplace season... no more cold areas.

homeowners, Other HVACzoning supplyComment

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...

2016 USER QUESTIONS - SmartZone Advanced

Support, homeownerszoning supplyComment
Photo by BackyardProduction/iStock / Getty Images

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.


I called last week to inquire about using this zone controller in a hangar that had a small office area and a large bay. I advised the call taker that I had Honeywell 9580. I also asked about the capability of the zone controller to handle the smaller office area’s lower CFM requirement and whether or not I could defeat the step-up from W1/Y1 to W2/Y2. I was told that the controller can be set up to defeat the stage step-ups.

After reading the manual, I found that there are no multi-stage inputs on the controller board from thermostats. So, basically, the capabilities of the Honeywell 9580 are wasted. Also, the stage defeat is for the whole system, not zone-specific as I need. It would be pointless to defeat stage increases while heating/cooling a large hangar space

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.


I have a honeywell mastertrol2 mm2, i wanted to update my thermostats but my zone controller has separate b and o wires going to thermostats . Will updating my zone controller to a smart zone 2 help this problem?

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.


Do you have a digital thermostat that you recommend or sell to go with SmartZone?
From ecobee.com

From ecobee.com

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:

http://zoningsupply.com/blog/best-wifi-thermostat-for-zoning

SmartZone-2L
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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
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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.

 

HVAC Contractors: Out-Perform the Competition with ZoningSupply.com

Other HVAC, HVAC Contractors, HVAC Industry, ZoningSupplyWhitney PitzerComment

Contractors nowadays are finding that homeowners and business-owners are looking for all the bells and whistles they can reasonably afford and install. Among features like energy-efficient fixtures and home-automation, HVAC zoning is usually near the top of this list. Of course, zoning offers multiple benefits to homes and buildings as it can save energy and provide a custom level of comfort.

As HVAC zoning rises in popularity, homeowners and business-owners are beginning to ask for it by name.

How can contractors make the most of this movement?
It starts with choices. Many contractors have unfortunately limited themselves to zone control systems that sit at the top of the market (as well as the top of the price-range.) This would be great if these “name-brand” zoning systems offered quality, reliability and features that justified the price. This is simply not the case. Contractors who have worked with zoning for a while can attest to this. The good news is that there are now many choices when it comes to zone controls, dampers, and equipment. Contractors and suppliers can now sift through the choices and figure out which systems are the simplest to install, the most reliable, and provide the best customer support.

This is where ZoningSupply.com comes in. ZoningSupply guarantees their products to be the most reliable, the easiest to install, and the most affordable in the marketplace. Hundreds of contractor and homeowner testimonials over the past 10+ years sing praises of the top-notch products they offer.
Here’s why . . .

Contractor-Friendly
The engineers behind ZoningSupply products will tell you that their systems were designed with the contractor in mind. In other words, full-color install guides, screwless wiring, and color-coded LEDs are only the start. If a contractor picks up the phone and talks to Jeff or one of our other tech-support specialists, they’ll be sure to have all of their questions answered quickly but thoroughly.  

Easy-to-follow instructions and simple design make for a lightning-fast install.  

Ship Direct for Free
Furthermore, ZoningSupply.com can ship anywhere in the U.S. for free. Individual components or entire systems can be purchased on the website and delivered straight to your office or job site,  

Affordable
ZoningSupply’s featured SmartZone 2x, 4x, and 2L systems are among the most affordable in the marketplace. This puts money in your pocket and provides savings that can be passed along to homeowners.

Universally Compatible
If a contractor uses ZoningSupply, they can confidently offer retrofit options for virtually any existing HVAC system on the market. This means not having to learn and re-learn various installation procedures. This also means that nearly every home or building in your area can be retrofitted for zoning . . . Think of the opportunities!

With zone control systems, as with any product, there are the good, the bad, and the ugly. In the end, they all must answer to the contractors and ultimately the homeowners. When bidding on projects or marketing their services, contractors should equip themselves with the confidence and reliability that ZoningSupply.com products provide.  

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

Honest discussion on homeenergypros about zoning advantages.

Other HVACzoning supplyComment

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

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BETTER with Zoning done right!

BETTER with Zoning done right!

Single thermostat can have issues

Single thermostat can have issues

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

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.

EASIEST TO TROUBLESHOOT ZONE CONTROL ON THE MARKET:

SmartZone-4X
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SmartZone can be used with any 24V Damper

Supportzoning supplyComment
honeywell ard mard to smartzone wiring
smartzone to honeywell damper
smartzone durazone damper

There are many different models of 24VAC dampers available on the market.  Some have 2-wires, some have 3 wires, some have 5 wires and some even have 8 wire terminals.  Nearly all of these can be used with the SmartZone products (2L, 2X & 4X).  Both 2 and 3 wire dampers are straight-forward to wire and even shown in the installation guide that comes with SmartZone.  However, some of the less common types of dampers (4, 5, 6 & 8 wire) require a little more understanding.  How to wire some of them are shown below.

If you have any other type of damper, please contact us and we will help you.

 

Better dampers available from ZoningSupply:

PRO-Grade Power Zone Damper (Round)
from 99.00
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Zoned climate control in your car… why not your home?

Zone Control Infozoning supplyComment
dual climate control

For many years, lots of car manufacturers have been putting separate passenger/driver/rear climate controls in cars.  In such a small space, this could be seen a “silly” feature because the passenger & driver are in very close quarters.  In most homes, however, heating and air conditioning systems still tend to have only ONE climate zone (one thermostat).  Dual or multiple climate zones for a home makes much more since than in a car but is not nearly as often implemented.  With SmartZone most existing heating & air conditioning equipment can be upgraded to have multiple climate controls (thermostats) in different areas.  You could have a thermostat in the kitchen, bedroom and living room… comfort everywhere.  Additionally, with SmartZone, areas that are not being used can be turned OFF to save energy.  All the parts you need shipped for free from ZoningSupply.com Zoning experts standing by to answer any questions you have or help with system design.

multiple climate control in home smartzone