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How many zones for a Ranch house?

heatingFunheatingFun Member Posts: 84
I have a 1600sqft one floor house with full basement (Ranch house?) in MA. Now I have only one zone for the frist floor which have two bedrooms, living room, family room, dinner room and kitchen. Basement is not heated. Now I am planning finish the basement which is the same size of the first floor with 1600 sqft. Another bedroom, bigger entertainment room, exercise room and ... will be added on the basement.

Basement will be heated then. I am thinking have 3 zones in tatol for the entire house for

bedrooms (night time area),

living room & family room (daytime area),


How you will zone your house if you are in my situation?



  • Zoning

    Upstairs sounds fine.  I would zone the basement:

    1) Bedroom

    2) Entertainment Room

    3) Exercise

    for the reason that they will want heat at different times.  And the exercise room will want a cooler temperature.
    Often wrong, never in doubt.
  • heatingFunheatingFun Member Posts: 84
    how about just add one more zone?

    Then how about just 2 zones, one is the existing zone for upstair and add a new zone for basement? For individual rooms on the basement use ball valve to turn on and off them.
  • GordyGordy Member Posts: 7,104

    I Think you need to ask what is the temp habits of the occupants. Is the floor plan open?

    I could see zoning the basement, and main floor seperatley, and maybe the bedrooms if different temps are desired. But its only 1600 sf, and is the floor plan open? Some times to much control is a bad thing.

  • nugsnugs Member Posts: 77

    Zone it however you want to achieve the comfort level that you want.  There is no correct answer to your question here.  I will tell you though that quite often folks get carried away with trying to micro-manage the zones when usually less is more.  Personally, Id have three.  One for the bedrooms, one for the rest of the upstairs and one for the basement.  
  • Jean-David BeyerJean-David Beyer Member Posts: 2,530
    Too many zones?

    I have two zones: upstairs and downstairs. The entire house is a 1150 square foot Cape Cod type.

    Upstairs requires 6500 BTU/hour when it is 14F below design temperature  outside.

    Downstairs reqires  24,000 BTU/hour when it is 14F below design temperature outside.

    The mod-con boiler will modulate down only to 16,000 BTU/hour (input). So the upstairs zone is really too small and the boiler cycles a lot when that zone is the only one asking for heat. I have used tricks to reduce the rapid cycling.

    So try not to get in the situation I am in. Mine now works satisfactorally, but it took me a year or so to get it right. The more zones you have, the less load will be on the boiler when only one zone calls for heat.
  • TonySTonyS Member Posts: 849
    The Book

    MODERN HYDRONIC HEATING by John Siegenthaler has an excellent chapter on zoning. Chapter 11 in the 2nd edition. Over zoning has often been oversold.

    Things like interior wall insulation and doors play a big part.

    Before I would spend the money on all those zone valves I would pick up a copy of this book and spend a day or two to read it.
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