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  1. #1

    One zone or Two zones -small colonial

    I am a residential homeowner getting two seperate quotes from independent sources. Was questioning why only 1 zone not two (are they cheaping out).

    Backround:
    House is 2700 sq ft, with new in 2012 roof, siding, windows and spray foam in attic. R-19 still exists in attic floor that was there before I bought the house. R-19 on 2nd floor walls, R-13 on 1st floor walls. House sits in indirect sun as there are large trees around it. Not direct sun. I have baseboard natural gas heat that works fine so only new a/c system
    2nd floor ductwork. 1 duct to each 250-300sq ft bedroom (4 of them), 2 side by side ducts to 500sq ft master bedroom. So 6 ducts easy access from handler to 2nd floor.
    1st floor ductwork 4 or 5 ducts run down through closets (that I built in anticipation of a 12 x 12 inch duct to run down from the attic through the 2nd floor closets to the 1st floor.

    Problem:
    Both HVAC installers want to just to one zone with two stage 3 ton unit. I feel as 5 bedrooms are upstairs shouldnt I be able to shut off 1st floor (where nobody is during the night) and shut off upstairs during day. With that I would need two zones.

    Both Carrier guy and Trane guys prices are similar for a 3 ton unit with one zone. I live in CT where electricity is high. Are they being lazy by not offereing me two zones? Would (2) two ton units seperate be better (but no 2 stage, only single stage). Or as the HVAC installers say set it and forget it, keep house at one temperature the whole summer 24/7.

    For the exact same price, the Trane (2 stage)unit is the xl16i vs the Carrier (1 stage) unit is Carrier Performance ACC6 condenser and Performance series FV4 variable speed air handler/controller

    For 3K more than the Trane, I get the two stage Carrier Infinity 24anb7 2 stage condenser matched with an Infinity FE4 variable speed air handler and Infinity controller .

    I am leaning towards the Trane (as its two stage) but really questioning wasting money by leaving air on either upstairs or downstairs when not in use.

    Please advise.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    The Quad-Cities area (midwest).
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    I think you're saying that you have one system now and you're wondering why the contractors don't suggest two? Did they mention zoning to you? Is your ductwork accessible?
    Do you have a three ton A/C now?

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by George2 View Post
    I think you're saying that you have one system now and you're wondering why the contractors don't suggest two? Did they mention zoning to you? Is your ductwork accessible?
    Do you have a three ton A/C now?
    I have No A/C in the house currently. It would be a brand new system installed . THe attic is fairly wide open.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Missouri
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    3,424
    Make sure you see the manual J figures on your home. Also make sure you get an EXPERIENCED company who has put in zoned systems. Don't oversize unit if zoning. Brands mean nothing, a company with zoning experience can mean everything. If the ductwork is exposed, there is not reason they can't zone it. If the companies quoting so far are hesitant, find another company as the previous ones either don't know how, or for some reason are hesitant. Good Luck!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    The Quad-Cities area (midwest).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daren67 View Post
    I have No A/C in the house currently. It would be a brand new system installed . THe attic is fairly wide open.
    When you say baseboard heating, do you have hot water heat now and no ductwork?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    The Quad-Cities area (midwest).
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    Okay....got it. Finally, sorry.

    You can still "zone" the one system. If 3 ton is all the home needs, why would you want to put in 4 tons? Zoning a 3 ton, 2-speed would be pretty efficient while giving you a thermostat (control) on each floor.

    Actually, with the A/C (cold air) falling, the first floor will not need many supplies if you don't zone. If you decide to zone, then you will want to "dump" the right amount of air to each floor when that zone calls. Or a by-pass would do the job, but personally, I design away from by-pass dampers.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    south louisiana
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    3,139
    what you need to ask for is zone control.
    what you get with that is multiple tstats
    a control panel that communicates with both
    the tstats and the motorized dampers on the ducts.

    when one zone calls for heat/cool..dampers open to provide this.
    zones operate seperately and are controlled by tstats.

    hire someone who has experience in installing zoned systems.

    best of luck.
    The cure of the part should not be attempted without the cure of the whole. ~Plato

  8. #8
    So is it possible to have 1 zone for the entire house (both floors) with an a/c thermostat on each floor (if I put motorized dampers on the ducts)?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    south louisiana
    Posts
    3,139
    hvac company can install zone system on ductwork.

    have experienced company that does this type of work
    take a look at your specific set up.
    access to ductwork, layout etc.

    for example, this is a site with zone controls for existing duct systems.
    http://www.ewccontrols.com/zoning_solutions.htm
    take a look at this site, to give you an idea of what you are asking for.

    not saying this is better zoning equipment than other brands.
    IMO the best brand is the one the contractor has installed sucessfully
    many times and understands the controls.

    best of luck.
    The cure of the part should not be attempted without the cure of the whole. ~Plato

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    The Quad-Cities area (midwest).
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    2,603
    Quote Originally Posted by Daren67 View Post
    So is it possible to have 1 zone for the entire house (both floors) with an a/c thermostat on each floor (if I put motorized dampers on the ducts)?
    Yes, motorized, as mentioned, or nematic (air driven) dampers work well also. See the Arzel Zoning site. It is possible, through zoning, to have even more "zones" controls.

    Example: Say your master bedroom/bathroom suite is a large space, you could easily have a separate zone (control) for that area. Thermostats are wireless and can be anywhere in the "zone". I have little table (like a picture frame) thermostats in my home. My wife did not want them on her walls!

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