Is an auto zoning system worth the $$$?

stinky-gardenerJune 1, 2011

Hi! Do I have questions! Have been in my house for 5 years now, and the furnace is on the fritz! I'm planning to replace my 24-year old system with a Trane 95% Gas Furnace with Variable speed blower, & Trane 4 ton air conditioner 48000 BTU, 15 SEER.

My house is a two-story that has 2600 sq. ft. The above items, installation, coil, thermostat, media filter, 10 yr. warranty and 2 yr. maintenance contract will run $9,419.00.

If I want to add an automatic zoning system so that I have a thermostat both up and downstairs, that costs an additional $2,850.00.

Is this extra expense worth it? Is there really a significant improvement with the zoning system? Does this price sound right? I was told I could also do something called a manual zoning system, that needs to be re-balanced twice a year, for $300.00.

I think if I do anything extra, I'll go for the auto-zoning, but really wonder about the additional,significant expense.

Also, I have a sunroom that is around 400-500 square feet. It is an oven in the summer, and a freezer in the winter. Got an estimate for a mini-split that ran $4,310.00. That sounds really high. Is there a cheaper alternative?

I live in Southeastern Virgninia.

Thanks for any feedback or suggestions!

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

IF DONE RIGHT (and usually isn't) zoning is great for comfort. Lots harder to do right with existing ducts than designing a duct system from scratch.

Mini split heat pumps are rather pricey but sure are nice. Whisper quiet and extremely efficient.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2011 at 11:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The zoning is worth it if you have a real problem with temperature stratification (and you probably do) and if it is done right.

You probably should back up and question the system you are planning on getting. I would first say that you would probably have lower utility bills by backing down the furnace efficiency and go with a heat pump (that would depend on your gas and electric rates). The install cost could be a wash.

I'd really ask what they are planning to do with the ducts for that zoning price. You see, your ducts are probably set up to flow enough for 4 tons. If you are trying to cool just the upstairs, then you are ramming 4 tons worth of air flow into about half of the ductwork.

I think your overall cost is a little high but that is region dependent.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2011 at 5:04AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks for your reply, Baldloonie! Good to know.

David, I feel a little lost when reading your reply, but I know for sure that *you* know what you are talking about!

Okay, so I should ask what they are planning to do with the ducts. Lost me after that. Also, is the furnace too high a SEER, is that what you mean?

Would you try to negotiate the price on the zoning? What if I could get it for $2,000? What do you think my overall price should be?

Do you live in Cary, NC? Nice area. I think your cost of living is a little lower than ours, but not hugely so. I live in Virginia Beach.

Thanks so much for your feedback!

    Bookmark   June 2, 2011 at 6:59AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Also, when you say, "zoning is worth it if you have a real problem with temperature stratification..." How do I know there's a real problem w/stratification, or if the issue is just how old my current system is? I do have a very large master bed/bath on the 2nd floor. Then there is a smaller bath, a very small room, a tiny laundry area and another fairly large room on the 2nd floor.


    Bookmark   June 2, 2011 at 7:05AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
What in the world is this thing? (Water furnace) And I need a new one?
Hi. So my new condo has an ancient thing I've been...
2 Stage vs 1 Stage
I am trying to decide what HVAC replacement system...
Pls tell me the best uses for Carrier Air Handler Model # FV4CNF003
Hi GW, I am stuck with a new 2012 air handler/heat...
Baseboard heater thermostats
We are looking to install (2) 120v baseboard heaters...
Enery efficiency of exposed ductwork?
What are your thoughts on the energy efficiency of...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™