Zoned Heating and Cooling with a Heat Pump System (Video)
Mike Cappuccio with Jones Services explains how zoned heating and cooling works. He covers the advantages of a zoned system compared to a traditional HVAC set up.
Hello, I’m Mike Cappuccio with Jones Services. And today I’m here to talk to you about the differences between a traditional heating and air conditioning system and a Mitsubishi zone system, or basically a zone comfort system is what I’m going to call it.
I want to start off by explaining the traditional heating and air conditioning systems which are how things are installed in your home today. Let’s say you have a single story ranch. Let’s use that type of home for the sake of discussion for today. When you come into the home, there’s one thermostat on the first floor. And that one thermostat controls all the heating and cooling for the whole entire home on the first floor. Now, that could be the first floor or the second floor. You could have a thermostat on the second floor as well, and you have two thermostats in the home.
Now, what I want you to envision is this, when you walk into the house, do you turn on one light switch to turn on all the lights in your home when you first walk into the door? The answer to that question is no. Well, why don’t you do that? Because obviously it’s not energy efficient to do that.
But in reality, what we’re doing with that one thermostat on the first floor of that home is, we turn on one switch to heat and cool the entire first floor of that home, or the second floor, depending on which thermostat you’re using. And that’s turning on one condenser outside and one furnace in the basement, depending on if you’re heating or you’re cooling.
Now, let me explain to you the biggest difference between a Mitsubishi zone comfort system and the traditional option. When we come into your home, that first floor of your home, we want to break that up into zones.
And why do we break it up into zones? For example, we have three bedrooms. So three bedrooms could be three zones and a living room and kitchen could be one zone. We might break that home up into four zones. Now, why would we want to do that? Well, let’s give it some thought. Let’s think about it.
When do I use the bedrooms? When I sleep at night. So that’s when I would want that heating and cooling to be at its full capacity most of the time when I want to be warmer or I want to be colder depending on the season. Now, I could also turn those rooms off with the temperature control if they were in their own zone. If each room was zoned separately, I could turn those on, turn those off, turn the temperature up, turn the temperature down.
I can’t do that with a traditional system because there’s one thermostat in the hallway and if I’m in the kitchen, I want the kitchen to be warm or cold depending on the season. So the biggest difference is we come in and we break it down into zones and we put a zone comfort system in that area.
So it’s almost like, “Okay, I’m coming into the house, I’m turning the lights on in the rooms where I need the light to be.” Also, keep in mind that when I turn on five burners on the stove to cook a dozen eggs in a pan that I was hard boiling or boiling the eggs. No, I wouldn’t turn five burners on. I would turn one burner on. Why? Because I don’t need the other four burners to be on. Again, it’s energy efficiency. So behind me over here to the right of me is a basic five-zone unit.
We have a condenser that would sit outside. We have a branch box that would go inside your home either in the garage or the attic. And then from there, there are two pipes from the outdoor unit to the branch box. And then all of these pipes here, these silver pipes that you’re seeing here go to different zones in the home. For example, I would have 1, 2, 3 bedrooms. I could have each bedroom in its own zone.
I can turn the temperature up, turn the temperature down, turn the temperature off in that bedroom if I wanted to. So again, I could turn those bedrooms off when I’m not in them. You might have a spare bedroom that you never use. Why air condition that in the summertime? Well, with the traditional system, you’re going to have to air condition that in the summertime, because it only has one thermostat.
Now, also when I put different units off, I also turn the speed of the outdoor unit down, bringing the efficiency into play here. If I turned three units off out of five, I’m turning down almost two thirds of the speed on this unit. The compressor slows down, the outdoor unit fan slows down, and it only runs at the amount of heating and cooling that you would need for those spaces versus a traditional unit is either on or off. It does not speed up and slow down.
You’re picking up a ton of efficiency with it and comfort as well because I’m zoning those areas out with different indoor units in the home where we’re going to provide that comfort for the spaces.