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Old 03-18-2011, 08:34 PM   #1
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Zoning in new construction worth it?


I'm building a new Energy Star Ravenna by Ryan Homes. It's around 2850sqft pretty evenly distributed between the first and second floor. I have the option of zoning the HVAC. It will be the Basement and first floor in one zone and the second into another. Is this worth the $2850 that they want for it?

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Old 03-18-2011, 10:03 PM   #2
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Zoning in new construction worth it?


Definitely worth it.

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Old 03-18-2011, 10:35 PM   #3
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Zoning in new construction worth it?


Ok, but why? I posted the same thing on another HVAC forum that doesn't allow cost to be posted. I've been in the exact model of the house and it didn't have temp difference issues between floors. Is there much cost savings to be had in the energy bills? I already am putting in a dual fuel HP/Nat gas system.

Honestly zoning looks like it's pretty simple and cheap to DIY.

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Old 03-18-2011, 11:13 PM   #4
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Zoning in new construction worth it?


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Honestly zoning looks like it's pretty simple and cheap to DIY.
Zoning isn't simple, if done right. Even just running the ductwork in a non-zoned system PROPERLY isn't simple. You really need a knowledgeable and talented sheetmetal man to do it properly.
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Old 03-19-2011, 01:16 AM   #5
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Zoning in new construction worth it?


Yeah its worth it, but if you try it yourself you'll cry tears before its over
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Old 03-19-2011, 12:07 PM   #6
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Zoning in new construction worth it?


I've heard it both ways. Some say it's better and leave it at that. Others say with a new, tight house with a balanced system, it won't make much difference. So if it's better, how? Based on a 30 year loan at 5%, I will be paying $15.28 more per month for this $2850 upgrade. Will there be any savings and will it offset the expense?

Mike
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Old 03-19-2011, 12:16 PM   #7
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Zoning in new construction worth it?


If it is a 2 story house it may be worth it as hot air rises. You may be more comfortable with it zoned. Impossible to put a price on comfort. Won't save any fuel dollars or very little and not enough to pay for itself. Heat still leaks from the house and enters at the same rate zoned or not. More devices in the system = more things to breakdown/go wrong and need repairs which cost $$. If the house is airtight and you have ceiling fans on the second floor to push the air down the stairwell that makes a HUGE difference in comfort. Personally I would buy the best furnace with an ECM variable speed motor and run the fan continuosly for circulation. Uses about 80 watts on low speed. I would get the dampers professionally adjusted and balanced and make sure they use a anemometer to check the air flow (be there and watch them) and I would skip the zoning system.
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Old 03-19-2011, 12:23 PM   #8
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Zoning in new construction worth it?


Heres my take, its all about comfort!

Btu's are Btu's and Btu's old and loose with no insulation = more $$$$ new and tight with good insulation = less $$, zoning = man its comfortable everywhere in this house, but it still cost $$ to generate or remove the btu's regardless of the system.

Yes a zoned system can shut down areas of a house (or should I say an area) while allowing the other zone to run at a different set point, come on is 2850 sqft with (2) zones is it really big enough to make that much of a difference......I think not.

You want uniform comfort in your house, run the fan all the time, install high and low RA registers (high open in summer, low open in winter), simple a very effective.

You would never recoup the $$$ spent to put it in.

Thats my 2 cents

Mark
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Old 03-19-2011, 01:07 PM   #9
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Zoning in new construction worth it?


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Originally Posted by Jackofall1 View Post
Heres my take, its all about comfort!

Btu's are Btu's and Btu's old and loose with no insulation = more $$$$ new and tight with good insulation = less $$, zoning = man its comfortable everywhere in this house, but it still cost $$ to generate or remove the btu's regardless of the system.

Yes a zoned system can shut down areas of a house (or should I say an area) while allowing the other zone to run at a different set point, come on is 2850 sqft with (2) zones is it really big enough to make that much of a difference......I think not.

You want uniform comfort in your house, run the fan all the time, install high and low RA registers (high open in summer, low open in winter), simple a very effective.

You would never recoup the $$$ spent to put it in.

Thats my 2 cents

Mark
I like the idea of high and low RA registers. That with a good ECM continuos fan will give you LOTS of good circulation and comfort w/o costing a bundle of $$.
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Old 03-19-2011, 01:48 PM   #10
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Zoning in new construction worth it?


That's what I was thinking. The floor plan is pretty split anyway. No big 2 story foyer (which IMO is a huge waste of space in a typical 2 story home) or anything like that. The only thing that goes between the two floors is the staircase. I can still go old fashioned and just shut or partially shut the vents.

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Old 03-19-2011, 01:54 PM   #11
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Zoning in new construction worth it?


Shutting the vents is not a good idea unless you have a variable speed ECM motor in your furnace. Reduced airflow with a regular motor can overheat the furnace or freezeup the AC coil. The ECM motor can compensate for that to a large extent, also gives you a constant flow/static pressure whereas the other motor just struggles and overheats when the filter plugs up.
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Old 03-19-2011, 02:21 PM   #12
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Zoning in new construction worth it?


It does have at least a multi speed blower, not sure if it's completely variable.

Mike

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