The weather conditions in the US mean that almost all homes need some sort of HVAC system during at least part of the year. The majority of homes use a furnace for heating and a separate AC unit for cooling. Ductwork helps distribute the warm and cool air from this split-system approach throughout the home.

While a common approach, that doesn’t make the standard split-system the best HVAC system for all homes. There are other types of HVAC systems. Another approach that a smart homeowner might employ is a zoned HVAC system.

Not familiar with zoned systems? Keep reading for some of the undeniable benefits of a zoned system.

What Is a Zoned HVAC System?

In a zoned system, you literally divide your home into two or more zones for heating and cooling. Then, each zone gets a thermostat to control temperatures in that area. You can create a zoned system starting with a split-system or with a ductless system.

Both systems use dampers that open or close based on the temperature setting in the zone. With those basics out of the way, let’s dig into some of the benefits.

More Efficiency

In a real way, the best HVAC systems are the most efficient HVAC systems. More efficient systems cost less and last longer than less efficient systems. As a bonus, they make for a more sustainable home.

With a zoned system, the different areas of the house only get the amount of heating or cooling they need. That means a living room might rise to 72 degrees, while the rarely used laundry room might remain at 65. If the system raises the whole home to 72, it wastes heat wherever people are not at that moment.

Fewer Arguments

Thermostat settings are often an ongoing point of contention in a home. One spouse often prefers it warmer, while the other prefers things a little cooler. While a zoned system won’t solve all the problems, it can let spouses exert some individual control in their own spaces, such as offices or the kitchen.


Many zoned systems take advantage of the WiFi connectivity available in most homes. Many systems provide an app that lets you control the system remotely. So, you can turn up the heat in common areas on your way home or cool down a space you plan to occupy when you get home.


Zoned systems are typically far quieter than the standard split system. The fans that distribute are in split systems can prove quite noisy and get noisier over time.

You and a Zoned HVAC System

A zoned HVAC system is a possibility for homes with a traditional split-system and those without existing ductwork. In the split-system, you can install dampers. If your home lacks ductwork, you can use a ductless HVAC system to establish your zones.

Zoned systems are typically more efficient than other systems, which prolongs the system’s life. They can reduce arguments in the home about the temperature. They also offer the convenience of remote access.

Looking for more home improvement ideas? Check out the posts in our Life Style section.