Zoning Technology Cools the House More Efficiently

Air conditioning is wonderful to have on hot summer days, but sometimes one would like to have more cooling in some areas of the home and less in others.

In a multiple-storey home, the top floor may require more cooling than the main floor, which in turn requires more cooling than the basement. As well, different people have different comfort levels. A comfortable temperature for one person might be too warm or too cool for another.

Balanced air conditioning is achievable today due to a technology called “zoning”. Any central air conditioning system can be zoned. Dampers are installed in the ductwork to automatically open and close to direct the cooling where it is needed. If your home has one of the new ductless or “mini-split” systems, a separate indoor unit would be installed in each zone.


One of the common reasons for zoning today is to save energy. It makes sense to cool only those rooms that are actually in use – the living room or family room and kitchen during the day; the bedrooms at night. A programmable thermostat can be set up to automatically change the cooling emphasis through the day and night.

While it is possible to create a separate zone for every room in a home, the result would be an extremely complex and expensive system. A more common approach is to divide a home into individually cooled zones by floor.

In a two-storey house, the basement, main floor and upper floor would each have their own thermostat or programmable control. Your professional air conditioning contractor can explain how zoning your air conditioning system will make your home more comfortable and energy efficient

More information on finding qualified contractors is available from the Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada online at our Contractor Locator page or call 1-877-467-4724.

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