Avoid These Common Issues with Zoned Controlled Heating & Cooling Systems

We may be in the heating and cooling business, but sometimes our job also entails creating peace inside a home. For example, with many customers, we’ve put an end to fighting over the thermostat by recommending and installing a zone control air conditioning or furnace.

Like anything else in life, zone control isn’t perfect. Common problems with a zone control system include stuck dampers, a faulty thermostat, or a malfunctioning control panel. Fortunately, these are minor issues that are easy to prevent or resolve.

Benefits of zone control

Zone control systems are gaining popularity for a few reasons. First, they allow different areas (or zones) of the home to be set to different temperatures, whether for air conditioning or heating. This allows for a more customized and consistent HVAC experience for the household. In addition to comfort, zone control can help reduce energy costs by not wasting AC or heat in the rooms that don’t need it.

Three common issues with zone control

  • Faulty dampers – A damper is a thin metal plate installed in the ductwork. It can rotate 90° to control the airflow. When horizontal, the cool/warm air easily passes through. But when set vertically, the damper blocks the air. In a zone control system, dampers are placed throughout the ductwork to establish and control the zones. So, if there is a problem with a damper – such as it getting stuck or not fully opening and closing – it will throw off the accuracy of the zone control system. In most cases, a faulty damper can be easily fixed by relubricating the part or cleaning the duct to remove debris built-up.
  • Broken thermostat – Whenever there’s a problem with a traditional heating or cooling system, we often start by looking at the thermostat since it’s the brains of the entire operation. With a zone control setup, you can have multiple thermostats to keep an eye on. If you notice that a thermostat is malfunctioning, try resetting it by turning the device off and then on. You may also want to check the batteries and wiring. Your last resort is replacing the thermostat.
  • Control panel issue – The control panel is the component that takes the information from the thermostat and tells the dampers to open or close as needed. As you can imagine, if the control panel is on the fritz, the zones won’t be the desires temperatures. Since it is a rather advanced piece of equipment, it’s usually not a good idea for a homeowner to tinker around to fix a control panel. The job is better left to an experienced HVAC professional.

Have an HVAC professional fix your zone control system

Zone control heating and cooling is a great way to keep everyone in your household comfortable and happy. If you’re experiencing any issues with your zones or cooling system, call the Fredericksburg area experts at Robert B. Payne, Inc. Schedule an appointment today at 540-373-5876.