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Question DetailsAsked on 5/2/2011

Does powerzoning work?

if you have a two story house and it's way too hot upstairs, the powerzoning guys have a 'patented' technique wherein they tap into the furnace/blower somehow in your basement, and draw all that nice cool air basement into a line and send it to the upstairs to mix with the hot air. i've seen plenty of testimonials from out west in utah and colorado, but am looking for satisfied users in the midwest (chicago area?)

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4 Answers


How about an adequately sized system properly balanced? You can also do some balancing yourself if the system isn't too undersized by adjusting the supply registers squeezing off the air supply to the lower floors to send more to the second floor. Check the room temperatures before you make any adjustments and check again in a day or so. "powerzoning" to me sounds like a late nite Sunday morning tv scam.

Answered 9 years ago by harry


Looking at their website they offer a $200 savings on "installation". The whole project shouldn't cost $200!

Apparently, from their videos and descriptions, they add another intake directly to the fresh-air plenum on the blower unit. Instead of having to suck air through the return ductwork then stuff it up the supply ducts, they use the entire house as the return duct and can increase the flow in the supply ducts. Nice idea, and it works. I did this when I was like 10 in my parent's house.

I guess they do some tests to see how large the opening should be compared to how quickly air can be sucked in to the basement. And your furnace system pretty much needs to be in the basement for this to work. No options for closet based or roof mounted systems with this trick.

I laughed at their "geothermally-controlled air" comment. While I guess its true, they simply mean that the basement, being underground, tends to be cooled by the earth. I'm fairly certain they were trying to ride on the back of geothermal sourced heat pumps that are massively more efficient than the air-sources systems we almost all use in our homes.

(aside: air-sourced units use fans and coils outside the house to shed the heat from the house to the out-site air. geothermal systems use pipes buried in the ground. The ground accepts more heat, faster than the air can. Just like food cooks faster in hot water than a hot oven)

Answered 9 years ago by Gster


Sure, but generally return ductwork isn't as extensive as supply ducts if there is any at all. In my small house there is no basement and no return duct but simply a return grill at the closet for the air handler. I still say this "power zoning" sounds like a gimmick that probably wouldn't work.

Answered 9 years ago by harry



Absolutely true, if there's no basement or no return ductwork then the extra air intake won't add anything.

Increasing the airflow in the system to properly vent remote rooms does make sense and opening up an extra intake on the furnace itself will increase air going to the rooms. The issues to be careful of:

1. Radon and toxic/flammable gasses tend to settle in basements. Adding a return air duct on the furnace then spreads these things throughout the home.

2. Adding an intake vent to the furnace should not cost hundreds of dollars

3. Simply closing or restricting the vents in other parts of the home will possibly yield comfort in the uncomfortable rooms

4. Increasing airflow means that you are decreasing the split temperature across the coils, so you don't get as much dehumidification and the house could feel "clammy" all the time

Answered 9 years ago by Gster

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