RetroZone

Problems related to residential installations.

RetroZone

Postby jhmorseiv » Sun Feb 06, 2011 1:45 pm

I have a friend (no, really I do!) that is having issues with his heating for a 2 story split level ranch. The upper level gets all the heat & the bottom level doesn't get much. It is a standard 1 zone system with the thermostat on the upper floor. It would seem to me that the house should have been built with a 2 zone system, however I also understand that builders typically go on the cheap.

Is anyone familiar with this product/company, RetroZone *-*://-.retrozone.com/index.**-*? Is this a gimic, does anyone think it would actually work?

Thanks!
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- RetroZone

Postby 4ftBanger » Wed Feb 09, 2011 8:49 am

You have a very common issue with multi level construction. Heat naturally rises and the control is on the upper level so the thermostat satisfies before the lower level gets warm. Although I've no experience with this particular brand, The technology is solid. We've used collapsible dampers before in a retrofit zoning application with success and this looks to be something very similar - It's simply a zoning system that's designed to be easy to install with minimal duct modifications. It depends, of course, on how the duct in the house is layed out. I've seen 2 story townhomes where the main duct is split at the air handler into an upstairs supply and a downstairs supply making it easy to zone - one large damper for each supply branch and a second thermostat. If you have one main trunk duct with supply runs feeding both upstairs and downstairs then zoning becomes much more complicated as each smaller supply run would need its own damper. You need a good evaluation of your particular system to see what is the best option for you.
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- RetroZone

Postby nomadpeo » Wed Feb 09, 2011 11:21 pm

it does appear to be a typical product for zoning applications. a zoned system can be implemented in the original design or used to split a single system into two or more zones with separate controls. the latter requires evaluation because it's not just a matter of controlling airflow. the refrigerant system and heat load has to be a match. if half the airflow is cut off, there is an imbalance that defeats the design of the system unless steps are taken in the modification to prevent that imbalance. if it's not modified correctly, it can damage equipment and the balance you are after will not be attained. although it's possible to make such modifications, not every situation is a good application for zoning. as mentioned, hot air will naturally rise and colder air naturally falls because it is heavier. sometimes adding volume dampers at the plenum (for air balancing) can be a simpler and more direct approach and may be all that's needed. again, a qualified person can better advise you after evaluating the entire system. it's possible the system was not designed properly to start with. good luck.
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