The best way to describe this type of zoning is “shoddy”. Do you have any heat registers closed in your home? If you do, this system is basically like closing of registers to a variaety of rooms in the home if you do not desire heating or cooling in those places. The difference between this and typical zoning systems is that while a advanced zoning system will turn the furnace on and off even if it is just the bonus room that needs heat, this system can only zone if the main room thermostat has activated the furnace. As well, just like closing your registers, this is an easy way to limit the life span of your furnace. This system is an example of an "over deliver / under perform" scenario.
Forced Air Zoning System (with bypass)
There are many brands of this type of zoning system, we have chosen UltraZone, but that does not mean there are not others that will do the job well, like Honeywell. The Forced Air Zoning System uses motorized dampers in your duct work that open and close as needed based on each zone's thermostat settings. The damper system will control the airflow through the duct work and deliver only the desired air to the desired location. Each thermostat has the ability to turn on and shut off the heating and cooling supply in it's zone. When a zone doesn't need to be heated or cooled, the dampers close to save energy and maximize comfort elsewhere. It's that simple. This system does require a bypass or blow-off valve to allow excess air not being used by the zoning system to cycle back to the furnace. These types of systems are generally used in conjunction with Honeywell thermostats.
Carrier Infinity Forced Air Zoning System
While there are many types of forced air zoning, there is only one Infinity System. This zoning system is so advanced that it has the ability operate without a bypass, giving you, hands down, the most efficient zoning system available. Automatically communicating with all the heating, cooling and air cleaning components attached to it, the Infinity Zone Control is so easy to use it makes installing and using a standard forced air zoning system seem like rocket science.
On March 7, 2007, this system won the prestigious Home Magazine 2007 Building Product Award, here is the clip,
“Carrier is proud to announce that Home Magazine has recognized the Carrier Infinity™ System as a 2007 Building Product Award winner for its innovation and energy efficiency. Each year, Home Magazine reviews hundreds of building remodeling goods in search of innovative, eco-friendly, and aesthetically pleasing products for its Building Product Awards. These awards are only granted to products that help make peoples lives more enjoyable and comfortable, and their homes more functional. Carriers Infinity System with HybridHeat™ technology is a leading product in this category, and Home Magazine is showcasing it in their March 2007 issue.
'As fuel and energy costs continue to rise, homeowners are becoming increasingly focused on saving money,' says Halsey Cook, President, Carrier Residential Light Commercial Systems, North America. 'Our Infinity System with HybridHeat™ has innovative and responsible technology that reduces energy consumption and lowers your heating bills.'
The Carrier HybridHeat system doesn't sacrifice convenience or comfort while helping homeowners reduce their heating costs. Once the controls are set properly (based on local conditions and energy costs), the system selects the most cost-effective heat pump and gas heat operating modes automatically. In addition, Infinity™ Controls offer unmatched capability for controlling humidity, air quality, ventilation, and fan speeds. Infinity Controls give homeowners the option of seven-day programming of up to eight different zones at varying temperatures. The Carrier Infinity System meets the new 2006 Energy Star requirements and offers the efficiency and comfort of two-stage cooling and two-stage gas heating, along with many other advanced features and benefits. 'This award reflects Carrier's continued investment in product innovation and technology,' said Mike Branson, Carrier brand manager for Residential Light Commercial Systems. 'We are honored and excited to receive this recognition.'
'As a leader in heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) innovation and technology, Carrier continues to raise the standard for HVAC product excellence and innovative design,' Cook added."