It seems like everything in your house can be controlled by your smart phone nowadays – you can turn on lights, open the garage, and even feed your pet with just the push of a button. So it’s no surprise that when people heard they could control their HVAC system with their phone, they were all for it! Smart vents became the new, fun gadget for any tech savvy homeowner, but are they really as “smart” as they claim? Here are a few ways smart vents differ from traditional zoning methods.
Each smart vent contains a sensor that interacts with other vents in the house, and can detect when a room is in use. Smart vents claim to lower heating and cooling costs by scanning a room for movement, and only allowing air to flow if the room is in use. Sounds pretty cool right? Well, despite its many appealing features, many contractors and HVAC professionals suggest against installing smart vents throughout your home.
While closing a vent to an unused room seems to make sense, it actually has more downsides than you would think. Your HVAC system is designed to work with all vents in mind. Most homeowners don’t realize that when you close a vent, your heating or cooling system actually works less efficiently because air flow throughout the system has been changed. When air that has been directed towards a specific vent doesn’t flow through, it backs up into the duct system. That increased air pressure can then cause air leaks throughout the unit. Worse than that – conditioned air trapped in the ducts can cause furnaces to overheat and air conditioners to freeze.
So what is the best option?
Zoning your home is still a great way to prevent heating unused rooms and save money, it just needs to be done properly. A whole-home zoning system works with your central HVAC, not against it. Zoning methods use a network of dampers, thermostats and a zoning panel to allow each room temperature to be individually programmed and controlled. Instead of simply closing the vent to an unused room, zone dampers control and direct airflow into a preset zone, preventing blockages and pressure build up.
We get it, “traditional zoning methods” doesn’t exactly have the same ring to it as “smart vents,” but when your HVAC system has been problem-free for 10+ years, none of that will seem to matter!
Need help selecting and programming your new thermostat or considering zoning your home? Our friendly technicians would love to lend a hand! Just call Tyler Heating, Air Conditioning, Refrigeration LLC at 203-378-4700 and schedule an appointment today.