Zone control systems allow easy control over a centralized heating and air conditioning system. To become a zoning system, the unit is fitted with mechanized or motorized dampers, allowing occupants to customize individual room temperatures. Such complex systems occasionally encounter problems. Knowing how to recognize them will help you address the problem in a timely manner, with the help of a certified technician.
How Does It Work?
A modern centralized HVAC system is fitted with a series of dampers, which basically work like individual “faucets” that control the airflow per room or “zone”. Each damper is connected to and controlled by a panel and a motor. Each room can also have individual sensors and/or thermostats that let the occupant change the airflow without leaving the room. The more connections it has, the more complicated the system gets and the more difficult it is to repair if it develops problems.
Common Zone Control System Problems
- Thermostat Malfunction – The most common and fixable zone control system problem is a thermostat malfunction. If restarting it doesn’t work, try cleaning it as instructed by the care and maintenance guide. If the front panel is removable, clean the electronics and contacts and make sure the panel is properly seated in the frame. The battery may also need to be replaced.
- Stuck Dampers – Motorized dampers have been known to get stuck. While the fix is simple, the challenge is accessing the damper itself. Call a technician to fix the dampers, as you might be risking voiding the warranty if you try to fix it yourself.
- Faulty Control Panel – The control panel is the “brain” of your zone control system. Factors such as power fluctuations, faulty wiring, temperature extremes, or physical damage caused by pets or impact can lead to a damaged control panel. As with the dampers, an experienced technician should be able to diagnose the problem. Prepare yourself for the possibility of spending a few days without air conditioning if a replacement will need to be ordered.
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