View Full Version : Zone First Zoning System
02-10-2009, 10:07 PM
Does anyone have any feed back (good or bad) on the Zone First Zoning system with an MMZK Control panel?
My contractor gave me a qoute on that system and an Arzal system, so I am trying to decide which one is a better zoning system.
02-12-2009, 07:08 PM
Has anybody heard anything about Zone First zoning system? Any feedback?
How about the Arzel zoning system?
I am trying to make a decision, so any comments will be greatly appreciated!
02-12-2009, 07:16 PM
Arzel is good.
So is EWC.
Now, if you describe the equipment, number of zones, and size of zones in percent of system capacity, you might get better feed back.
02-12-2009, 07:47 PM
I'm partial to Jackson since I know all those guys but the real key to zoning is proper duct design and system installation. And that's what we tend not to see. Are you getting new equipment or just a new zone system. Is it zoned now?
02-17-2009, 05:26 PM
Thanks for the responses. I am building a new log home. The forced air system is being installed right now.
Originally, the whole system was supposed to be controlled by just one thermostat. However I would like to have one zone for an upstairs bedroom and bathroom; one zone for a downstairs bedroom and bathroom, and one zone for everything else - kitchen, dining room with cathedral a ceiling, living room with a cathedral ceiling, and a loft.
I got a quote from my contractor on an Arzel system, and s Zone First system. The Zone First price is lower, but I want to make sure if it is as good as Arzel. I've heard good things about the Arzel system, but nothing on the Zone First.
I found their web page - http://www.zonefirst.com/ - but beyond that I really have no feedback as to whether this system is any good.
Any help will be greatly appreciated!
02-17-2009, 05:59 PM
Sounds like your trying to make some very small zones.
That can lead to troubles.
Do you know how many CFM those small zones will use.
And what size system is being installed in your house.
02-17-2009, 06:29 PM
They are installing Thermopride MDA1-100 (100,000 BTU).
Not sure how many CFM the small zones will be:
One zone will be Bedroom + Adjacent Bathroom (320 Sq. Ft. in total, give or take.)
Another zone will be Bedroom + Adjacent Bathroom (about the same size).
Last zone - everything else, which is a pretty big zone (loft, kitchen, dining room, living room with cathedral ceilings).
02-17-2009, 06:39 PM
A 100,000 BTU furnace, with a 320 sq ft zone.
Even with out insulation, its doubtful that zone would need much over 9,000BTUs, if it even needs that much.
You got trouble.
You can't move enough air for that furnace, when only that zone is calling.
A modulating zoning system, would probably be short cycling that size furnace.
How many sq ft is the big zone?
Was a load calc done to see if you even need that size furnace.
You need to get other contractors to look at your house.
I think your on the path to major problems, if your contractors are agreeing to install this with those size zones.
Doesn't sound like they know anything about zoning.
02-17-2009, 06:53 PM
Thanks! You are right, I know nothing about zoning! (Not sure about my contractor - but I hope they do!)
The house is about 1600 Sq Ft in total. But the Dining room and Living room have cathedral ceilings which, in effect doubles their volume. So I calculated the volume of the house is equivalent to a 2250 Sq. Ft. house if all ceilings were standard height.
So figure a 320 Sq. Ft. zone, a 320 Sq. Ft. Zone and a 1600 Sq. Ft. Zone. All powered by the 100,000 BTU furnace.
I really want to have zones, vs. one thermostat, so any help or advice will be appreciated. Can't change contractors because: A) they already started the installation, and B) it is a vacation home in a remote location on a lake in Maine, so my contractor is pretty much the only player in town.
The reason I need zones is that I will also have a wood burning stove in the living room. If the heat is too much from the stove, and if I had a single thermostat, then the forced air system will not kick in, so the bedrooms and bathrooms that are not connected to the space where the stove is will remain cold.
Thanks again - comments much appreciated.
02-17-2009, 07:06 PM
When you use the wood stove, run the furnaces fan.
Furnace is probably oversized for a new 2250 sq ft home also.
With those zones sizes.
Your furnace will have a short life span.
02-17-2009, 07:17 PM
Well, you will save me a lot of money, if I end up not installing zoning. :)
So how will it work? Just one thermostat, and I guess balance the system (duct size, etc.) so that the house is heated evenly, assuming no wood stove is running.
Then if the wood stove is on, do I have to go to the basement (where the furnace will be) and turn the heating to "fan" mode?
Here's another idea - can I have one thermostat in the living room, and still have two thermostats in the bedrooms - then if the thermostats are disagreeing by a predefined margin (say 10 degree difference) and if the living room thermostat does not demand heat, then the furnace is put automatically in "fan only" mode. Can that be done?
02-17-2009, 07:17 PM
There's another thread on here about what happens when you try to put a lot of air into a small zone!
Yea, does seem like a lot of furnace for that size house new construction. If you really need that much heat, tell the builder to build the place better!
How about a new wireless stat so you can put the stat in the room you want to be the right temp, say the bedroom?
02-17-2009, 07:22 PM
Your contractor can install a thermostat, that you just walk over to it. And turn it to fan on.
If your not getting A/C installed. You can have them install a thermostat with auto change over.
It will run the fan, anytime the room gets above what ever temp you have it set for.
Lets say you have heat set for 70, and cooling set for 74.
When the room gets above 74, the fan will come on.
Thats if, your not getting A/C.
02-17-2009, 07:56 PM
In "fan" mode, the hot air from the living room/dining room will be circulated through the house and sent to the bedrooms, bathrooms, etc. Is that how it works?
I am not having air conditioning installed (as the summers never get too hot up there), so the idea of the "auto change over" seems doable.
Is it not possible to have two or three thermometers and a controller that calls for "fan" mode if the temperature difference is greater than a predefined threshold?
So you have the "MAIN" thermometer in the living room - if heat is needed then the furnace works normally and the other thermometers are ignored. If the "MAIN" thermometer does not call for heat (i.e. the temp is above the set value), BUT the temp difference between the "MAIN "thermometer and any other thermometer in the bedrooms reaches, say 10 degrees, then run the furnace in 'fan" mode. Is that doable?
Sorry, for all the questions - your help is appreciated!
02-17-2009, 08:21 PM
To much over complicating, something that is so simple for one thermostat to control.
02-17-2009, 11:04 PM
the way we do it down here as far as ewc boards goes, for any zone, it has to be able to carry 70% of the total load (to keep the coil from freezing up which isnt the case here).. Now as far as the bryant evolution, they are amazing as far as zoning, with the variable speed motor, it does a duct assement on startup to see how much each zone can handle as far as % of air.. one option that i have done in the past, but dont perfer it, is installing a motorized damper to a switch in the room.. But thats only good if the unit is running already.. my first pick would be an evolution unit (cost too much though), and 2nd is EWC board.
02-17-2009, 11:13 PM
He's getting a Thermopride gas furnace, its not compatible with the Infinity/Evolution zoning system.
02-18-2009, 11:04 AM
I am not sure the t-stat with an auto change over will work. If the wood stove is only partially heating the living room, then the t-stat will call for heat only one in a while in order to bump up the temperature. The bedrooms, bathrooms etc will also get this little heat from the furnace, but no heat from the stove, so they will stay cold.
I really need a system with multiple sensors (thermometers) that can intelligently call for heat or call for fan mode. This may work in my situation even without zoning (e.g. valves closing and opening).
Do they sell thermostats with multiple temperature sensors and a controller to do the logic?
02-18-2009, 12:51 PM
Not in the sense your talking about.
How ever, they do have thermostats, that have fan cycle ability.
If the thermostat hasn't called for heat in X amount of time, it will bring on the fan for X amount of time.
This feature would tend to slightly increase teh bedroom temps, and slightly lower the temp of your room with the wood stove, if its at a low fire, and bring on the furnace.
Most thermostats with this ability, can use remote sensors, and do temperature averaging, to determine when to bring on the heat.
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