fotolia_34214436Using a zone system is a great way to optimize both your heating and cooling and minimize energy usage with your central heating unit in Minneapolis, MN, during the cold winters. Let’s take a look at how a zone system works and how this type of system can really impact your energy consumption.

Zones in Your Home


Zones are best understood as areas in your home that see more or less usage on any given day. Zone usage will vary based on the time of day and your particular habits. For example, if you go to bed at night and get up in the morning without any interruptions, your bedroom would be the only area of your home used during those sleeping hours. Your kitchen and dining room area might be the most used during mealtimes. A home office might be most used during work hours if you work from home, or in the evening hours if you bring work home from the office at the end of the work day.

If you think through each area of your home, you should begin to see which areas are used more often than others and which areas are rarely used. For example, a guest room may not get any traffic for days on end, and a formal living area may only see occasional traffic. Your particular habits may change based on the day of the week, so that your casual living area may see limited traffic during a busy workweek but gets a lot more usage during a low-key weekend.


Zone Heating and Cooling

In order to use a zone system to heat and cool your home, you need to have a system installed that is programmable based on the usage each zone receives. This way you can specify how much energy you direct to each zone, or area, of your home. There is no need to heat your bedroom during
the day if you never step foot in it until it is time to retire for the night. Likewise, there is no reason to cool your main living area during the summer if you are spending the night sleeping in your bedroom.


 delicious pastriesHere is an example of how a zone heating and cooling system might work. Let’s assume it’s the middle of January. You are sleeping in your bedroom. The entire house is cool except for your bedroom, which is a cozy 72 degrees. Just before your alarm goes off, the heat kicks on to warm up your kitchen and living room. After you have gotten dressed for the day and gone to your kitchen for breakfast, your bedroom begins to cool off for the day and your home office has begun to warm up. As your day continues, the zones continue to kick the heat on or off as needed based on your normal routine.

As you move through your day, the pre-programed zones turn your heat or air conditioner on or off as needed to keep each zone at the temperature you desire given your usage of each individual zone. This prevents your system from having to heat or cool areas of your home that are not in use at the moment, but allows you to still live comfortably. This type of zone system can make a big impact on your energy consumption as well as your electric bill.