HVAC zoning systems: efficient temperature management

Several studies around the world show that the greatest energy consumption from homes and buildings comes directly from HVAC systems. This fact, together with the current need to keep spaces well ventilated, demands new initiatives to maximize the efficiency and increase user comfort.

Zoning systems are a good strategy to make that objective. Zoning is gaining popularity in Europe after decades of use in Oceania, and brings the capability to control the temperature setpoint for each room in an independent way, from only one HVAC unit. Find out how it works and Intesis role within the integration of all variables from HVAC systems.

Zoning systems: the popular strategy for System Integrators to reduce energy consumption.

It is a known fact that HVAC systems represents the most energy consuming asset from a building, and with the current pandemic situation, system integrators are looking for new cost-effective strategies to control them, whilst keeping user comfort to the maximum. Zoning systems, commonly used in Oceania, are gaining popularity in Europe and Intesis products play a key role in the communication between the zoning controllers and the HVAC system.

There are several government initiatives around the world to incentivize users to install control systems in their homes or offices, therefore reducing the total energy consumption and carbon print. Some examples are “The Green Deal” in the UK or “PREE” in Spain, and the users always get some benefits like in reduction of the electricity bill.

Voice assistants and the home automation systems now play an important role for the user, Recently we have noticed that system integrators are looking for alternatives and more professional but still cost-effective ways, to provide the user with the control of the temperature in separated areas, according to different setpoints, even if only one single HVAC unit is available.

That is how zoning systems works and are usually made up of three control elements: The individual thermostats located on each one of the rooms. The air flow duct dampers that open and shut to allow the flow of air to circulate to each zone, and a Main controller where all the logic is processed.

There are several zoning manufacturers on the marketplace that provide their own proprietary system with all required elements, but the concept has now been replicated in installations using standard protocols like Modbus, BACnet or KNX. For example, Intesis’s partner Ivoryegg has developed an alternative solution using a KNX generic 240v blind controller to control the damper motors of each zone, and performing the logic from KNX, where an Intesis gateway plays an important role by offering all the variables from the HVAC system and making the system work at the maximum efficiency.

Zoning’s popularity is increasing, and the benefits are available for everyone. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that zoning systems can save the users up to 30 percent on a typical heating and cooling bill, comparing with a single centralized thermostat. Those conventional systems do not provide real comfort, since the ideal temperature of each room is independent of the others depending on its geographical orientation and the occupancy.

Take advantage of the surplus capacity in the installed HVAC system to reach the comfort level requested by your customers without compromising the budget or having to instal a secondary system, just add zoning management.

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