I live in a two-story house that is very big and extremely old. There’s high ceilings, big windows and lots of small rooms. Because of severe weather in my local area, both heating and cooling are necessary. Trying to keep this huge, old house comfortable without draining our budget is a challenge. When my husband and I first moved in, there was a single thermostat to handle the entire house. The room where the thermostat was located was always perfectly comfortable. There were other rooms that were typically overheated or chilly and no way to target them. For awhile, we got by with space heaters, box fans and window air conditioners. I hated the look of the portable heating and cooling units and wasn’t happy with the cost of temperature control. We were paying to heat and cool a lot of empty rooms. Our house includes a formal dining room, a library and sitting room that we never use. I finally consulted with a professional HVAC contractor, who suggested updating to zoned conditioning. Because of the age of the furnace, air conditioner and ductwork, this was a big project. Despite the large investment, we decided that it was worth it. Not only are the new heating and cooling units far more energy efficient, but we can now customize temperature room by room. We avoid heating and cooling unoccupied spaces and cater to the specific demands of the rooms we use. There’s less wear and tear on the furnace and air conditioner and our monthly bills are approximately thirty percent lower. We expect to recover the cost of the zone control in under five years.