Professor Thermostat
By Professor Thermostat – October 2013

Zoning Choices

As we head into autumn with the onset of colder weather, heating controls play an important role in keeping you and your family at optimum comfort levels. Zoning is currently the hot topic for domestic heating systems, but do you know what it is, how it works and what the benefits are?

You might not be familiar with the term 'zoning' or aware that you can zone your property to program different temperatures in different rooms or areas of your home for maximum comfort and efficiency levels. If you do want to make informed decisions about which areas to zone and where, you must firstly understand how your heating system works

The optimum temperature for your living room will be different to the temperatures required for comfort in bedrooms, studies, kitchens or bathrooms. For instance, take a study – it is likely to be used regularly, but to a completely different schedule than, for example, the kitchen and dining area. In a similar way, a teenager’s bedroom will require different time and temperature schedules than the rest of the house, as will a family member who does not work but who wants to be comfortable in the room(s) he or she uses, without heating the whole house for the entire day.

If you have a single thermostat and thermostatic radiator valve (TRV) controls on your radiator, a certain degree of control is achievable. But adapting to changing circumstances can be timely and difficult, as you would need to adjust the TRVs throughout the day. Without two or more zones – which deliver the required optimum amount of control – your heating bills may be much higher than necessary.

If you have a larger house with many rooms used for dedicated functions, or you and your family have complex lifestyle needs, you will benefit from a zoning system. The majority of saving potential for a typical household is actually on the heating side – not lighting as many homeowners assume. You need to move away from a situation where the whole house is always at the same temperature to a point where you can set the temperature in line with the zone or room function and typical occupancy pattern.

Once you understand the concept of zoning, the next step is to determine whether you need a two-zone or multi-zone system. This is the ideal opportunity to talk to your heating installer who can provide professional advice and guidance.

zone system

Two zone system

A two-zone system can easily be installed by a qualified professional using the latest wireless technology. Honeywell's Sundial RF2 Heating Control pack can be combined with an additional motorised zone valve to create two easily controllable zones. Also, two zones can be added without additional motorized valves by using Honeywell's new touchscreen Evotouch thermostat. This involves fitting wirelessly communicating, battery-operated TRV radiator heads within the two zones, so you don't need to manually control the heads every time you want to adjust the temperature. In this way, your installer reuses your existing system components and upgrades the installation with zoning functionality. There are no changes to the installation pipework, meaning no mess, no fuss and no need to redecorate. However - a remote wireless relay will need to be wired into the main wiring centre in order to control the boiler.

zone system

Multi zone system

Finally, when creating a multi-zone system, only the latest multi-zone controllers – such as Evotouch which can control up to eight zones from a single controller – will do the trick. As the zoning system can be configured and programmed after the hardware installation, your installer can also ensure that your zoning system set up suits you and your family's requirements and lifestyle.

There are several choices and considerations for you to make when it comes to zoning. It’s important to discuss your requirements and budget with your installer who will help you to make the right decisions. Today, with rising energy costs, an unpredictable climate and hectic lifestyles, one central thermostat is simply not enough to meet all your comfort and cost efficiency needs.

Energy Related Products (ErP) Ratings
Sundial RF2 Pack 1 Class IV 2%
Sundial RF2 Pack 2 Class IV 2%
Sundial RF2 Pack 3 Class V 3%
Sundial RF2 Pack 5 Class V 3%