What must be done to zone a system, I have two floors, the heat pump heats the upstairs warmer than the downstairsPost created: 2013-04-15 Type of Equipment: Heat Pump Views: 126
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I had a system AC/heatpump installed in a two story home, when heating the upstairs stays much warmer than the down, now I realize I should have had the system zoned, my question is what must be done to to zone the two floors and would it be worth the cost?
On 2013-04-18 JB wrote:
Here is what I found (http://www.diychatroom.com/f17/adding-another-hvac-zone-12237/) for what you would have to do/add:
What do you do:
1. Install motorized dampers on both branches
2. Install a zone control panel. Wire it to the dampers.
3. Wire existing 1st floor thermostat to zone control panel.
4. Install a thermostat on 2nd floor, run a wire to zone control.
5. Wire zone control into your furnace/AC.
I also read that you have to be careful that you balance the zones properly. For example, hot air rises so all the warm air on the first floor will go upstairs and vice versa for cooling. Therefore, the heating load for each zone will be different and may require doing a new load calculation, which should be properly done and not estimated.
This also raises the question of whether you need to add a second zone or make a modification to the ducts so that less heat goes upstairs and more downstairs. I found the following suggestions here: http://www.doityourself.com/forum/air-conditioning-cooling-systems/230057-adding-second-zone-my-central-air.html.
"Make sure your filters and fan are clean. In checking the fan it is important to carefully look at the fins on the blower to make sure that dust is not caked on. (Make SURE the power is off before opening the furnace covers.)
"Adjust the dampers or grills to be fully open on the second floor and partially closed on the main floor. Make sure you don't close the main floor grills too much or you could starve the system of air."
You may also want to try moving the thermostat from downstairs to upstairs so the furnace doesn't run as long and get the upstairs really hot just to get the downstairs up to temperature.
In terms of estimates, I've seen one estimate that it would be about $2,500 to $3,500 to do the job, but that will vary depending on how much additional equipment you will need such as ducts and so on as well as the hourly charge for the work. One other estimate I saw for a zoning kit and installation was $3,000 and up.
Given the cost it may be better to first try a couple other fixes.
To keep legal happy, let me just say that I am not an HVAC contractor, and you should never even look at your furnace without having a qualified, liability accepting HVAC contractor present. To keep sales happy, let me just say that you can find an HVAC contractor that's happy to take your money here: http://www.furnacecompare.com/perl/find_contractors.pl.