Energy Savings from Residential Zoned Air Distribution Systems

Dave Bohac, P.E.

Why This Research Is Needed

Single-zone constant air volume systems are standard in most Minnesota homes. They can lead to temperature variations and increased energy use from over-heating and over-cooling. These problems often occur in basements, on second floors, and on sunny sides of the house. Multizone variable air volume (VAV) systems offer a solution.

This white paper will explore the potential to apply newly available zoning equipment for new and existing air distribution systems. Anecdotal evidence has shown that poorly designed and implemented systems can lead to low airflow and cycling problems — the assessment will include system requirements to avoid these problems. We will use EnergyPlus models of standard Minnesota home configurations to estimate zoned system energy savings.  

This project is supported by a grant from the Minnesota Department of Commerce, Division of Energy Resources through the Conservation Applied Research and Development (CARD) program, which is funded by Minnesota ratepayers.  

Project Info

Q1 2021–Q2 2022 (12 months)

Conservation Applied Research and Development (CARD) grant program

This project will assess the energy savings opportunities for residential zoned air distribution systems and identify current and future system configurations for Minnesota’s residential market to determine the potential statewide energy savings.


  • Technology assessment

  • Market research

  • Energy modeling

  • Energy calculation procedures

  • Dissemination of findings

Non-energy benefits

  • Improved occupant comfort

  • Noise reduction

  • Utility bill savings

  • Reduced greenhouse gas emissions  

Dave Bohac