The Pros and Cons of Zoned Air Conditioning
When the temperature heats up, all thoughts turn to chilling out. In Australia, we are well experienced in scorching hot days and air conditioning has become an essential part of our homes — a government report from 2014 found three out of four households have some form of air conditioning.
The two most popular types of air conditioning are split system and ducted. A split system air conditioner consists of wall-mounted units designed to cool or heat a single room of the house. They are lower cost and efficient but typically not as effective as zoned ducted air conditioning at regulating the temperature of an entire house due to their limited capacity.
Ducted systems can achieve zoned air conditioning as the aircon system is divided into areas (or “zones”) that can be cooled or heated independently. In this blog, we’ll discuss zoned air conditioning — how it works, the main components and the pros and cons of choosing this system.
How Does Zoned Air Conditioning Work?
Zoned air conditioning allows you to regulate different temperatures in rooms throughout the home simultaneously. It’s powered by a central unit, typically located in the roof, with a series of ducts connecting to various zones in your home. A zone is usually a main living area but for greater control, you can set one up in every separate room or area.
Inside the central unit is mechanical valves called dampeners which control the intensity of airflow. Most air conditioner systems offer varying degrees of airflow for every zone, allowing you to fine-tune the temperature.
Components Inside Zoned Air Conditioning
- Indoor unit: Main unit that delivers temperature control air, typically installed in the roof.
- Outdoor unit: Connects to the indoor unit to pump fresh air inside and expel heat gathered by the indoor unit.
- Vents: Subtle gaps in the ceiling that allow air to be delivered to each zone.
- Zones: Dedicated areas of the home where you can control the climate individually to your preferences.
- Control Units: Wall-mounted tablet or phone app that lets you select the temperature for each zone. Advantage Air MyAir controls are an Australian manufacturer that lets you set temperatures, measure activity and track usage.
- Sensors: Thermostat sensors measure the temperature of each zone in order to regulate it effectively.
- Dampers: Controls the amount of airflow into a zone.
Pros Of Zoned Air Conditioning
There’s a number of advantages to zoned air conditioning. If you have a larger home, it’s the most efficient cooling method. Here are a few other reasons why zoned air conditioning gets the tick of approval.
Full Temperature Control
Intelligent zoning controls let you cool or heat your home as you please. Select individual climates and airflow or shut off unused rooms. You wouldn’t have one light switch for your entire house, and your air conditioning shouldn’t be any different. Most systems also let you set scheduled times, so you can fit them into your family routine.
Quiet and discreet
With the outdoor unit discreetly placed in the garden and the central unit tucked away inside the roof, it’s a quiet and subtle solution that won’t impact your living space. It also saves wall space for family photos, art or minimalism.
Easier To Maintain
Instead of having multiple units spread across your home, zoned air conditioning only has a single unit to service and maintain.
Ducted air conditioners can also come with a home air purifier. These have built-in HEPA air filtration and purification that removes harmful allergens, mould, pollen and dust from the air. It helps weak immune systems and asthma sufferers and is an especially good option for the elderly and young children.
Cons Of Zoned Air Conditioning
Before you take the leap for a zoned air conditioning system, there’s a couple of things you will need to know first.
Higher Installation Cost
Zoned air conditioning units are more advanced and cost more to purchase than a simple split system. A ducted system is also more complicated and requires more ducts and vents to be fitted. Despite the higher installation costs, its higher efficiency means you can recoup that back in savings on your electricity bill.
Only Suitable For Certain Residences
Due to the bulkier unit, it may be difficult to fit into the space available.
Involves Careful Planning
Although it takes more time to plan, a careful installation design will ensure that the system doesn’t detract from the aesthetic of the home and functions at its peak.
Requires expert maintenance
Air conditioning requires servicing at regular intervals — around once a year depending on the manufacturer and frequency of use. With more advanced components, you will need to seek a professional technician to ensure optimal performance. On the flipside, ducted systems are very reliable and built for longevity. Our service includes a 12-24 month manufacturer warranty on systems, plus a 10-year workmanship guarantee on the installation.
Speak To Smarter Air & Electrical About Zoned Air Conditioning
Hopefully, this has helped you gain a better understanding of the pros and cons of zoned air conditioning. If you are interested in learning more, check out our FAQs or contact our friendly team and we would be happy to have a chat.