there are lots of air handler designs, ones that look like pictures, ones that look like vents on the ceiling. As far as outdoor they look like any other condenser though smaller and compact
Understood. I can sell her on the vents on the inside, but NO chance of selling her on having something running up the side of the house (from the compressor to the air handler). The room where it would goes is on the 2nd floor.
I have been looking into retro fitting a zoning system into a house that is about 30 years old.
Here is what I know so far...
It is expensive...maybe $ depending on how fancy the system or how much demolishion you have to do to get to the ducts.
There are pneumatic dampers like the type arzel does. There is a damper that goes at the end of each duct and a air tube that goes all the way back to a compressor that operates the dampers.
Plan B is to get access to the ducts...in my case, that means demolishing the ceiling in my basement and replacing it with a false ceiling like in offices. That of course is a no-go. IF it were, the dampers would be electrical.
So then you have these zones and you need to get the air flow balanced for the rooms. Otherwise you just can't cram all the air flow into a bathroom.
The mytemp system hasn't been discussed on this site, but they do have some good videos about what it takes to retro their system. I would imagine Arzel to be similar.
I had initially thought the same thing. I also thought that the OP could completely eliminate the zone panel by hiring an HVAC Pro to wire a thermostat directly to a normally open a damper to shut off the room once
the temperature set point is reached.
However, I noticed that the OP stated he wanted to be able to turn the system "on/off without affecting the rest of the house". This solution along with your suggestion wouldnt help with turning the system on without affecting the rest of the house.