How Reliable Multi-Zone HVAC Systems Are?

Any HVAC system is definitely an investment, and, of course, you would want to be sure that the unit that you’re spending your bucks on is reliable. 

Multi-zone HVAC systems, in general, last for 10-20 years, and they are extremely reliable if bought from a reputable manufacturer and installed by a qualified professional. However, such systems do consist of more components than single-zone units which usually means a higher possibility of breakdowns. 

How Reliable Multi-Zone HVAC Systems Are?

Multi-zone HVAC systems do include more elements than a regular system. For the unit to be able to work its magic, the technician would have to install the dampers, extra thermostats, and a zone control board.

More equipment used usually means that there are increased chances of any breakdowns. Incorrect installation of the parts can also lead to malfunctions in the future.

There are a few factors that are going to affect the reliability of your system:

  • The quality of the components
  • The quality of installation
  • The maintenance schedule

If you manage to find a highly experienced HVAC technician who is going to install the system and perform regular check-ups and if you’re buying from a reputable brand, then you shouldn’t be concerned about the equipment’s reliability. 

What Is the Life Expectancy of an HVAC System?

The life expectancy of multi-zone HVAC systems is around 10-20 years which is the same as for a lot of other types of heating and cooling units. With proper maintenance, the lifespan of the dampers installed in zoned HVAC systems is 20 years, so, in theory, you might never have to change this component.

Here are the life expectancies of different heating and cooling equipment:

HVAC EquipmentLife Expectancy
Heat pumps and air conditioners10-15 years
Boilers and furnaces15-20 years
Water heaters (regular/tankless)10 and 20 years

Is Zoned Heating Worth It?

Zoned heating is worth it if only in case it makes sense for your house. Such a system will cost you more than a regular one and that’s exactly why you should carefully weigh all the pros and cons before investing in one.

You might benefit from a zoned HVAC system if:

  • You have a house with two or more stories
  • Your house has large windows and/or high ceilings
  • The house is full of hot and cold spots that you want to get rid of
  • All the family members have different temperature preferences 

Read: How To Know If HVAC Zone Damper Is Bad?

Does New HVAC Add Value to Home?

The addition of a new heating and cooling system can increase your home’s value by about 10%

However, a zoned HVAC system might add even more value to the building as many future homeowners value the comfort and energy savings that are associated with zoned heating and cooling. 

Read: How To Troubleshoot A Honeywell Zone Damper?

How a Zone Control System Will Save You Money?

There are two main ways in which a zoned HVAC system will help you save money:

  • Zoning can help reduce energy costs by up to 30%. This will happen mainly due to the fact that you won’t be heating or cooling the unused rooms.Another not-so-obvious energy-saving benefit is the fact that the members of the family will not be constantly tweaking the thermostat. Everyone can adjust their own thermostat and the system will not be cycling on and off as much.
  • Such energy efficiency also helps increase the life expectancy of your HVAC equipment. As the system doesn’t have to operate at full capacity all the time and it’s not constantly short-cycling, the components won’t be suffering from wear and tear as much. 

Read: Can Zone Damper System Save You Money And Is It Really Worth It?

Are Multi-Zone Mini Splits Good?

A multi-zone mini split consists of two or more indoor units that are all connected to one single outdoor compressor.

Multi-zone mini splits can be a better option than single-zone units for houses where multiple rooms need to be heated or cooled or for buildings that have two or more stories. Such units are also a great option for houses that don’t have ducts. 

The main benefit of such a system is that you wouldn’t have to have a lot of outdoor units (in fact, you only need one) and that would certainly improve the appearance of the exterior of your house.

How Much Does It Cost to Install a Multi-Zone Mini Split?

Be prepared to pay anywhere between $1,800 and $6,000 to install a single-zone mini split and then $500-$2,000 more for every additional zone.

Read: What Are Zoned HVAC Systems?

How Many Zones Can You Have with a Mini Split?

In the majority of cases, the single outdoor compressor can be connected to a maximum of 5-8 indoor units.

Read: Why HVAC Zone Damper Not Working? Troubleshooting Guide

FAQs

Can You Add Zones to an Existing HVAC System?

Old HVAC systems that had zones added to them might not be as reliable as a brand-new zoned HVAC system as there are too many things that can go wrong.

The main difficulty that you would have to face is figuring out where the excess air is going to be pushed. It is not recommended to add any dampers to the system if you have single-stage equipment as the increase in static pressure within the system can lead to its damage.

Even with two-stage equipment, you would have to either install an additional damper duct or make sure that the largest dampers are able to bleed some air.

What Is the Longest Lasting HVAC System?

Unlike a lot of other units, geothermal heat pump systems have a 20+ year life expectancy (that is for the heat pump itself). 

The underground infrastructure can last for 50 years, but some experts assume that with proper maintenance, the ground loop can have a lifespan of 200 years. 

How Do Multi Zone HVAC Systems Work?

A zoned system divides the house into a few zones in which the temperature can be controlled independently.

What HVAC Brand Is Best?

Here are some of the most reputable HVAC brands:

  • Trane
  • Rheem
  • Lennox
  • York
  • Bryant
  • Carrier
  • Goodman

Why Do HVAC Units Cost So Much?

The cost of the unit would depend on a lot of factors, but the main reason why any HVAC equipment is considered to be an investment is because the units are packed with complicated technology.

Will HVAC Prices Go Down in 2022?

In 2022, HVAC prices will not go down. In fact, they will increase due to the following reasons:

  1. The demand is increased
  2. The cost of raw materials is going up
  3. Transportation costs are increasing 

What Is the Most Efficient HVAC System?

By far, geothermal HVAC systems are not only the longest lasting but also the most efficient ones. In fact, geothermal heating and cooling systems can reduce your energy bills by up to 60%.

Should I Replace My 20 Year Old HVAC?

If your unit is working perfectly fine, then you might want to consider keeping it for now.

However, if you’re constantly spending money on various repairs, then getting a new system will be worth it. Plus, a new HVAC unit would be a lot more energy-efficient. 

Can HVAC Last 30 Years?

It is highly unlikely for a heating or cooling unit to last for three decades. Some systems that are that old might still be functioning, but it is simply not safe to continue utilizing such a unit.

What SEER Rating Is Considered High Efficiency?

A SEER ratingabove 16 is considered high efficiency.