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Save Money and Live Better with Multizone HVAC
Of all the advantages offered by ductless heating and cooling systems, zoned control may be the most meaningful to both your energy expenses and home comfort.
You are reading one installment in a 10-part series devoted to exploring Mitsubishi Electric ductless heating and cooling. See all.
The typical HVAC system takes a one-size-fits-all approach to heating and cooling. That is, a single, centrally located thermostat controls the temperature of the entire house. So, if you want to enjoy climate control in any room, you must run the system (and pay for the energy consumed) in all rooms, even the ones you’re not occupying. Imagine if the same principle applied to your plumbing system, and turning on the faucet in the kitchen would activate every other faucet in the home. Chances are that you would regard that sort of setup as exceedingly strange and wasteful. And yet for decades, homeowners have put up with all-or-nothing heating and cooling, accepting not only the limitations in comfort, but also the difficulty in saving money on utility bills.
Newer technologies have brought tremendous advancements to HVAC and have given homeowners some appealing alternatives. Today’s options respond much better to what homeowners want: both comfort and savings. Many of the most exciting next-generation alternatives are dramatically different from the familiar forced-air HVAC systems that rely on elaborate networks of ducts. Case in point: Mitsubishi Electric makes a full line of heating and cooling equipment that can operate without any ductwork whatsoever. Of course, ductless systems have enjoyed longstanding popularity in Europe and Asia, and there are many reasons to make the switch. That said, if you’re determined to gain more control over the climate in your home, one particularly compelling feature of ductless systems may cinch the deal for you: With a whole-home Mitsubishi Electric ductless system, you can establish multiple HVAC zones. Whether the zone comprises one room, a set of rooms, or an entire floor, it can be controlled independently from the other zones in the home. That means you can set a different target temperature for each zone, seizing opportunities for greater comfort and energy savings. If daytime household activity centers on the ground floor, you can adjust (or even turn off) the HVAC system for the zone or zones upstairs. At night, you can keep the bedrooms comfortable while cutting back on the temperatures in rooms that will remain empty until morning. Whereas traditional one-size-fits-all HVAC assumes all rooms are either occupied or vacant at the same time, multizone systems are able to adapt to how people actually live.
Tailored zoning also better responds to the fact that, when it comes to heating and cooling demand, no two homes are identical. Any number of variables come into play. For instance, if you live on a hill, solar gain may substantially influence the temperature of your home—but only on one side of the structure. Likewise, if you converted your attic or finished the basement, the temperature of the renovated space may vary, sometimes wildly, from the temperature elsewhere in the home. In such idiosyncratic cases, a one-zone system would give you no recourse but to be uncomfortable or use temporary stopgap measures, such as space heaters or window air conditioners. Only zoning affords the targeted temperature control necessary to overcome any challenges that are specific to your home.
Finally, zoning accommodates the reality that different people prefer different temperatures. In homes with one-zone HVAC systems, only some people will be truly, completely comfortable at any given time. Over the years, who knows how many disagreements have arisen out of our basic, primal desire to be comfortable? Now, thanks to zoning, every member of the household can enjoy his or her ideal environment. While working away in your home office, you can keep the room at the relatively chilly temperature you like best. At the same time, your spouse can enjoy warmer temperatures in the zone where he or she spends the most time. That’s right: With a zoned ductless system from Mitsubishi Electric, you can put an end to thermostat wars!
Since HVAC contributes more than any other mechanical system to household utility costs, it’s imperative for the budget-conscious homeowner to choose a solution that facilitates savings from one month to the next. That’s what zoning does—makes it easier than ever to eliminate frivolous, excess climate control and unnecessarily inflated energy bills. Still, you wouldn’t enjoy spending less if it meant shivering, sweating, or feeling otherwise uncomfortable in your own home. Here’s what sets apart the line of ductless systems from Mitsubishi Electric: Even while it gives you the ability to lower your expenses, the technology still manages to deliver unparalleled comfort. Heating and cooling always used to entail some sort of trade-off between comfort and savings, but not anymore.
This post has been brought to you by Mitsubishi Electric. Its facts and opinions are those of BobVila.com.