My house is heated with natural gas.
The 1st floor living area is a pretty open floor plan and there are 3 heati
ng zones. Is is more efficient and cost-effective to have all 3 zones on,
or just use the ones in the rooms I am spending time in? By using just one
of them in the room I'm in, am I making it work too hard because the heat
from that zone is traveling all throughout the open floor plan anyway?
Thanks for any advice?
On Wednesday, December 11, 2013 11:32:45 AM UTC-5, email@example.com wrote:
ting zones. Is is more efficient and cost-effective to have all 3 zones on
, or just use the ones in the rooms I am spending time in? By using just o
ne of them in the room I'm in, am I making it work too hard because the hea
t from that zone is traveling all throughout the open floor plan anyway?
Yes, the heat from the one zone you're in is traveling through
the open floor plan. So, the area you're in is 70 and the other
areas are 64. Which takes less energy? That or keeping those
other areas at 70 too?
If you have three heating zones, then you will have three
thermostats with each thermostat controlling the temperature in one
Forced air heating isn't very conducive to zoning. By far, zoning
works best with hot water heating systems. There are many different
ways to set up such a three zone hot water heating system, but all of
them involve the thermostat either turning on a circulating pump or
opening a zone valve when that thermostat determines the temperature is
below the set point in that zone.
You can save money by turning down the temperature in the zones you
spend the least time in, expecially the zone that includes the upstair
bedrooms since you're under the covers when you're asleep, and well
insulated from the cooler temperatures. The energy savings come from
the fact that as long as the temperature in the zone is lowered, there
will be less heat loss from that zone to the outside. In fact, if you
have a programmable thermostat, even while the heating system is working
to heat that zone up again in the morning, the heat loss from that zone
per minute is still lower than what it would have been if the
temperature had been maintained in that zone all throughout the night.
No, you won't be working your furnace or boiler too hard by
operating only one zone at a comfortable temperature, and the other two
zones colder. Your system is designed to maintain all three zones at a
You can't do anything about heat flow from one zone to another
through an open floor plan or an uninsulated wall or floor. That much
you have to accept as an unavoidable inefficiency. You can maximize the
heat utilization in any zone by the use of ceiling fans to push warm air
down to floor level, thereby distributing the warmth in the room more
But, hands down, the most effective way to save money on your
heating bill is to turn all three thermostats down, and put on a
sweater. Our pioneer grandparents came to North America on the promise
of free land from the government if they would farm it. They had to
survive winters just as harsh as we do with far less resources then we
have. But, they would put on long underwear and sleep with their night
caps on, and they got through the winters by insulating themselves,
rather than the whole house. If you were to invest in a pair of long
underwear, some thick socks, a long sleeved turtle neck tee shirt, and
wear those indoors, you could probably cut your heating bills in half.
Maybe buy more than one of each so that you have clean underwear to
change into. If you're serious about saving money, insulating your body
is the way to go.
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