A Commercial Zoning System Can Maximize the Efforts of the HVAC System
Heating or cooling your commercial facility can challenge the effectiveness and efficiency of your HVAC system. While furnaces, air conditioners and heat pumps intended for use in business settings often have higher capacities than residential models, you may still experience problems such as inconsistent comfort levels, unnecessarily high utility bills and inefficient heating and cooling. To overcome these issues, consider installing a commercial zoning system at your business location.
The basics of a commercial zoning system
Zoning systems, also known as zoned heating and cooling, are relatively common in residential settings. The same benefits can be acquired by using a zoning system in your commercial facility. A commercial zoning system allows you to separate your office, retail establishment, or other business location into separate areas, or zones, that receive heating and cooling separately from surrounding zones. A zoning system can be established to provide temperature control for areas as large as an entire floor of your facility, or for smaller room-size areas. A commercial zoning system allows precise control of temperatures that can accommodate individual personnel preferences, environmental needs of specific stock or processes, or the effective application of more or less conditioning where necessary.
Zoning systems use a system of individual motorized dampers combined with programmable thermostats to provide temperature control in the individual zones. Each zone will have its own thermostat and damper system to control how much heating or cooling is provided to that area. In an office photocopying room, for example, a zoning system allows you to provide more cooling to offset the heat from the equipment in just that room without increasing cooling levels in adjacent offices in other zones.
Designing a commercial zoning system
A commercial zoning system must be planned and designed carefully to take best advantage of the benefits of zoned temperature control.
- Don’t make individual zones larger than one floor: Zoning systems work best to heat and cool smaller areas such as single rooms. However, they can also be effective in areas as large as a single floor of your facility. A zoning system will not work well for an open warehouse, multiple floors, or areas that are constantly exposed to outdoor temperatures through open doors or bays.
- Install thermostats in the room within the zone that is used most often: In zones that are larger than a single room, make sure the thermostat is placed in the room that is used most frequently. This will help ensure temperatures that are consistent with the requirements of the people who use the room most often.
- Group rooms with efficiency features, similar heating/cooling loads, or similar thermal characteristics within the same zone: Rooms with energy-saving windows, similar levels of insulation, or directional orientations belong within the same zone. HVAC performance levels will be much greater in a zone consisting of areas with higher energy efficiency. Benefits of a commercial zoning system
- Focused, consistent heating and cooling: If a zone requires more heating or cooling, it’s easy to adjust the thermostat and provide it. If a zone changes status and requires less heating and cooling, the zoning system can be adjusted to avoid wasting energy in that area.
- Customized temperature control: Zones in your facility can be heated or cooled to the preferences of the individuals working there, which can improve employee satisfaction and productivity.
- Energy and cost savings: Zoning systems can reduce the cost of heating and cooling your facility by as much as 25 percent. Since you only put heating or cooling where it’s needed, you’ll waste less energy throughout the year.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about Plumbing, HVACR, Fire Protection, and Alarm Systems in Mechanical, Commercial, and Residential settings. For more information on commercial zoning systems and how they can improve your facility’s comfort while also saving you money, or to view projects we’ve worked on, visit our website!
Image Credit: Penn State