New const - Cost of zoned ducts

Burke WebsterMarch 8, 2014

We are in the process of building a new 2-story house and I'm struggling with some HVAC options. The builder-selected HVAC sub offers a few options for a zoned system:

Honeywell 2-zone system
Honeywell 2-zone system - duct work only

The cost of the duct only option is just under $2000, while the full system is over twice as much. My questions are around the cost. From my understanding you can add zoning to a system by adding electronic dampers to all the branches coming off the main trunk. Why would they be charging nearly $2000 for duct work? This price doesn't include any dampers or control panels.

My plan is to have then do just the basics (including running control wires up to the second floor for an additional thermostat) and then add the dampers, control panel and thermostat later. Should I pay the money for them to install a zoned duct system, or just go with the basic single zone duct system?

We will have an unfinished basement and are selecting Lennox EL296V 96% 2-stage gas furnace and a Lennox 13 SEER 13ACX air conditioner.

Thanks for your help!

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What is the size of the first and second floors? What is your location? This will help answer whether you should get two zones or not.

A two story zoned house will need separate main supply and returns for each floor. It is difficult to say how much additional materials and labor is involved, but $2000 sounds a bit high. The additional $2000 for a second thermostat, two dampers, and wiring seems very overpriced. Is the furnace and AC being upgraded as part of this option?

    Bookmark   March 8, 2014 at 2:53PM
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Burke Webster

Thanks for the follow-up. We are located in Denver, CO. Both the first and second floor are around 1000 sq/ft each, totaling just over 2000 finished sq/ft. The house will be well insulated and pretty tight. There is a large open staircase in the front of the house connecting the two stories.

I'm not planning on upgrading the furnace or AC beyond what I listed above.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2014 at 8:10PM
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The house is big enough where a zoned system will help keep the the first and second floors at the temperature setting. You should ask the HVAC contractor why it is an additional $4000 to upgrade the duct work to support two zones.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2014 at 9:51AM
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