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  1. #1

    professionals, how many zones you will have for your one floor house?

    I have a 1600sqft one floor house with full basement (Ranch house?) in MA. Now I have only one zone for the frist floor which have two bedrooms, living room, family room, dinner room and kitchen. Basement is not heated. Now I am planning finish the basement which is the same size of the first floor with 1600 sqft. Another bedroom, bigger entertainment room, exercise room and ... will be added on the basement.

    Basement will be heated then. I am thinking have 3 zones in tatol for the entire house for

    bedrooms,
    living room & family room,
    basment.

    How you will zone your house if you are in my situation? My boiler is 2 yrs old and its capacity is good enough for the new additions.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
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    First, in direct answer to your question, you can have as many zones as you desire. It's all just a question of money. That said, the practicality of extra zones is what normally determines the number.

    Zone controls are normally introduced to provide even temperatures throughout the home. For example, if there is a large picture window in the living room and at night is saps heat from the space, making the living room cold, then one might want to provide a separate zone for the living room. Adding to that, if the window faces east, the in the morning it gets lots of sun (on sunny days) that might want less heat for that time period. Again, a good reason to zone the living room separately. Since your basement will be quite separate from the main floor, I'd say it is an appropriate location for an independent zone. If your main level suffers from uneven heat in the bedrooms and/or living room/kitchen area, then I'd say you should break it into two zone as you're queried. But if they are nice and warm evenly throughout, then I'd say save the investment and do other things with it.

    Now if your intention is to allow the zones to maintain differing temperatures from one area to another, then I'd suggest that any savings anticipated will be minimal at best. The reason is that your interior walls between zones are likely not insulated. Thus the transfer of heat form the warmer area to the colder area will be accelerated as the colder area gets colder still and the warmer area sacrifices heat within it to the colder area. Thus the warmer area will run more frequently to try and satisfy the colder area, negating any anticipated savings to a great extent. I always recommend to zone to achieve even temperatures, not uneven. The exception would, of course, be if what had once been an exterior, insulated wall, becomes an interior wall when an addition is built and that addition is on a separate zone. The insulated old exterior wall is indeed allow the new area to cool significantly and some saving will be realized.
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  3. #3
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    I've been toying with a concept that would remove the need for a zoned system. A simple control device that would have temp imputs from the 2 or more areas of the home that experience large temp differences. The device would have a logic control that would kick in the blower motor anytime too large of a temp difference occured between areas. This seems like a much cheaper alternative to traditional zoning systems.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Philadelphia PA
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    2,190

    3 zones

    I suspect that your 3 zones are living, sleeping and basement.

    Problem may be that a call for just the small load for basement will create airflow issues because it is such a small partial load. So you'll need a way to make sure that the other large areas are in a min setting where some portion of the air is delivered and are not SHUT OFF
    You have got to learn from other people's mistakes! Because God knows you don't live long enough to make them all yourself !!!!!!!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    burlington county n.j.
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    i would probably go with the 3 zones as you described, might even split the basement to be able to keep the bedroom and exercise rooms cooler.

    with a boiler the smaller zones are not as much of a problem as they are with a forced air system.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
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    Charleston, SC
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    Quote Originally Posted by t527ed View Post
    i would probably go with the 3 zones as you described, might even split the basement to be able to keep the bedroom and exercise rooms cooler.

    with a boiler the smaller zones are not as much of a problem as they are with a forced air system.
    I agree with 3 to 4 zones. And with forced air, small zones are not as much a problem with proper by-pass and supply/return temp sensors. None of these should be optional in my opinion.
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  7. #7
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    Jan 2009
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    Keokuk, IA
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    Quote Originally Posted by tipsrfine View Post
    I've been toying with a concept that would remove the need for a zoned system. A simple control device that would have temp imputs from the 2 or more areas of the home that experience large temp differences. The device would have a logic control that would kick in the blower motor anytime too large of a temp difference occured between areas. This seems like a much cheaper alternative to traditional zoning systems.
    I always thought this would be a nice feature. But you could cause cool drafts. In cooling season, you'd need a 15-30 minute time delay so the coil can drain as much as possible.

    I'm thinking about adding a small hydronic coil for a very low 1st heating stage. That way run times would increase dramatically, even with a modulating furnace. SO you'd circulate air, but also temper that air. I figure I'd match BTU to the continuous fan airflow and target a 20F temp rise. So around 10-15k BTU's.

    I requires however that you have a efficient hot water source and/or low gas rates.

    For the original question.... my house came with 2 systems.. and therefore 2 zones. IF I was made of money I'd have a Infinity Zone system with 4 zones upstairs (2 bedrooms, master bedroom and sitting room), and 5 zones downstairs (kitchen, dining room, living room, sunroom and basement.) Of course that would cost a small fortune to retrofit. I think another alternative is a modulating system like Jackson Systems has.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    indy
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    471
    Quote Originally Posted by cartercrew View Post
    I agree with 3 to 4 zones. And with forced air, small zones are not as much a problem with proper by-pass and supply/return temp sensors. None of these should be optional in my opinion.
    what do the sensors do on a zone system duct?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    98
    Quote Originally Posted by tipsrfine View Post
    I've been toying with a concept that would remove the need for a zoned system. A simple control device that would have temp imputs from the 2 or more areas of the home that experience large temp differences. The device would have a logic control that would kick in the blower motor anytime too large of a temp difference occured between areas. This seems like a much cheaper alternative to traditional zoning systems.
    Honeywell makes a system that instead of utilizing stats they have a module that reads temp and humidity sending back to the control which then communicates to the stat... the stat then takes the average readings and operates accordingly... It is part of the Prestige 2.0 Comfort Series.

    Quote Originally Posted by skippedover View Post
    First, in direct answer to your question, you can have as many zones as you desire. It's all just a question of money. That said, the practicality of extra zones is what normally determines the number.

    Zone controls are normally introduced to provide even temperatures throughout the home. For example, if there is a large picture window in the living room and at night is saps heat from the space, making the living room cold, then one might want to provide a separate zone for the living room. Adding to that, if the window faces east, the in the morning it gets lots of sun (on sunny days) that might want less heat for that time period. Again, a good reason to zone the living room separately. Since your basement will be quite separate from the main floor, I'd say it is an appropriate location for an independent zone. If your main level suffers from uneven heat in the bedrooms and/or living room/kitchen area, then I'd say you should break it into two zone as you're queried. But if they are nice and warm evenly throughout, then I'd say save the investment and do other things with it.

    Now if your intention is to allow the zones to maintain differing temperatures from one area to another, then I'd suggest that any savings anticipated will be minimal at best. The reason is that your interior walls between zones are likely not insulated. Thus the transfer of heat form the warmer area to the colder area will be accelerated as the colder area gets colder still and the warmer area sacrifices heat within it to the colder area. Thus the warmer area will run more frequently to try and satisfy the colder area, negating any anticipated savings to a great extent. I always recommend to zone to achieve even temperatures, not uneven. The exception would, of course, be if what had once been an exterior, insulated wall, becomes an interior wall when an addition is built and that addition is on a separate zone. The insulated old exterior wall is indeed allow the new area to cool significantly and some saving will be realized.
    I second this recommendation for your apllication.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    PA
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    Quote Originally Posted by hvacmike85 View Post
    what do the sensors do on a zone system duct?
    I assume when he said by-pass he was referring to the static pressure build up and as far as the sensors for temp.... I would say to monitor your heat gain.

  11. #11
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    Jan 2012
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    indy
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonesHVAC-R View Post
    I assume when he said by-pass he was referring to the static pressure build up and as far as the sensors for temp.... I would say to monitor your heat gain.
    ok but does it just monitor? It must control something I would think

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
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    michigan
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    I have the same size house that you have and a finished basement. I have three zones main floor and one zone basement. I say go for it just find a good hydronic contractor in your area. You'll need some controls, valves, copper pipe and some baseboard fintube radiators. Should work well for you.
    I am the "Wally". All others are meer imitations of the original.

  13. #13
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    Sep 2009
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    Arnold mo
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    Thanks Jones HVAC-R. Just what I was looking for.
    An answer without a question is meaningless.
    Information without understanding is useless.
    You can lead a horse to water............
    http://www.mohomeenergyaudits.com

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