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Southwest HVAC News Guest Column

How Zoning Helped Me Answer the Question I Hated Most as a Tech.
By: Bill Molica, Technical Sales, Arzel Zoning.
Before I started my career at Arzel, I spent the better part of 20 years as a residential service technician. Spring and summer were always interesting and challenging times of the year. Whether I was being called out for maintenance or an emergency, I would arrive at a two-story or split-level home and get the same question, “why is my second floor warmer than the first?”

This comfort issue continually frustrates homeowners, especially those in just-built homes who expect everything to be perfect. I would try to explain the challenge of overcoming the physics of warm air rising and cool air falling which made it difficult to get all the areas completely comfortable. At that time, there was not always a reasonable solution to these problems, especially for existing home applications. Homeowners were willing to accept the answer that “this is just the way these houses are” and deal with being uncomfortable.

The Answer: Retrofit Zoning Systems

Comfort solutions, especially zoning, have come a long way since then and as comfort expectations increase, homeowners are more willing to do something about it.

The HVAC industry has evolved over the years from providers of heating and air conditioning to whole house comfort advisors, and we have learned there are a number of issues that create this too hot, too cold problem.

Most of the time this has something to do with the attic space:

•Not enough insulation in the ceiling

•Unsealed penetration in to the attic causing the hot, humid air to be drawn into the living space

•Unsealed/Un-Insulated return ducts pulling hot air from the attic

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Trying to operate a system with a single point of control can make achieving an acceptable comfort level in these applications a challenge. The dramatic temperature difference is most commonly caused by the thermostat being located on the first floor and the air in the duct system taking the path of least resistance, therefore delivering more air to the first floor.

As you are your customers’ comfort advisor, I urge you to investigate if they are affected by any of these factors and to be aware of what their comfort expectations are for their home.

Sealing up the envelope of the home is important for the energy efficiency as well as the indoor air quality. Adding zoning gives you the ability to customize the control strategy to meet your homeowner’s needs.

Download our free application guide to identify common applications for zoning. Click here to get it now!

Arzel Zoning Technology, Inc. is the industry pioneer of comfort and efficiency enhancement systems for retrofit as well as new construction HVAC projects. Arzel solutions are available throughout North America via a growing network of contractors and wholesale distributors. The patented solutions offered by Arzel lead the zoning industry in installation flexibility, reliability and warranty. For more information on Arzel® products please visit or contact a local HVAC distributor.



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