Zoning should work great.
Find a good Arzel installer. Look at more than 2 zones. It is easy to do with Arzel and with a good heat load and some time looking at living habits you may find 4, 5, 6 or more zones may be very practical.
It takes good duct design, good room by room heat load.
You can be very comfortable in every part of your home and save money on energy cost.
Does any name brand provide good zone control? The Carrier's website shows they have some sort of zone control for performance and comfort series, but no mention of the Infinity series.
Carrier does make an Infinity zoning system, and it's the best there is (I say that on features, not cachet or brand loyalty). It integrates control of all of the equipment into a single brain, and adjusts the zone dampers (which adjust which zones are getting air at any given time) on a percent-open basis, instead of all-or-nothing. That give the control system an opportunity to be smart and just balance airflow on the fly, based on ductwork capacity and demand for heating/cooling.
Traditional zoning setups do work, but have some bad habits because of design limitations. The systems don't know how much airflow a given zone can handle- but it doesn't matter because the zone dampers are either full open or full closed. They don't know what the temperature in each zone is- they just know which zones are calling for heat or calling for cooling. So they sometimes do things like trying to cram more air into a single zone than the ductwork can handle- yet not recognizing that another zone may need conditioning in a few minutes. So then in five minutes, the first zone is satisfied, and the system shuts off. And then in five minutes, the second zone needs conditioning, and the system starts trying to cram too much air down that poor zone's ductwork.
An Infinity system measures and understands differences in duct capacity in each zone. It knows the temperature in all zones all the time. It can proportion airflow across the zones as needed. So if two zones are close to needing some conditioning, it will split the airflow between them such that both will be satisfied at the same time. Then the system doesn't have to struggle with conditioning one small zone at a time; it can coordinate the different zones and use the idiosyncracies of each zone to its advantage.
The only drawback I see to Infinity zoning is that it only works with Infinity systems, which means that you are pretty well married to that line of equipment down the road. Other zoning systems are more modular and don't depend on you using any particular brand of equipment, either upfront or in the future.
Do you live in a Glass house in TX?
Originally posted by dc00
We don't need two floors to have the same temperature. All we want is to cool down the 2nd floor sufficiently so we can sleep comfortablely in the evening on a hot summer night. We don't mind closing all the registers on the first floor. Can a 5-ton AC plus, say, a Carrier Infinity furnace handle this?
If yes, then No.
It's Not Rocket Science, But It is SCIENCE
with "Some Art". ___ ___ K EEP I T S IMPLE & S INCERE
Define the Building Envelope and Perform a Detailed Load Calc: It's ALL About Windows and Make-up Air Requirements. Know Your Equipment Capabilities