A radiant heating system is divided into a number of areas or "zones". Each zone is intended to heat a specific area in the house, such as bedroom, living room, kitchen, or garage. It consists of one or more PEX loops, which is connected to a manifold, as well as its own thermostat and a zone valve. Whenever a thermostat is turned on and needs to reach a certain temperature, the zone valve opens up. Once the valve is opened, the circulator begins to pump hot water through PEX line in order to give off sufficient amount of heat to warm up the zoned area.
A zoning system is very convenient as the homeowner can turn the heat in the zones on and off as the need arises. It also increases efficiency, as it takes much less time to heat the area where the homeowner is located than heating the entire house. Additionally, significant savings are produced, since energy is used to heat only the rooms/areas that are being used and not the whole house.
The function of a zone valve in the system is to control the flow of water into the zone. Zone valves are typically powered by electricity and have a low-voltage motor, which is usually run on 24V. The motor’s role is to open and close the valve, as needed.
Two of the most popular brands of valves being used for radiant heating today are Honeywell valves and Taco valves. Honeywell and Taco, founded in 1904 and 1920, respectively, both have many years of proven record of manufacturing reliable valve products for all radiant heating design configurations.
To make the installation process easier, avoid mistakes, and give the system a more professional look, Taco also offers zone valve controls. The device, with a PC board, simplifies the installation by avoiding potential wiring mix up. It has built-in diagnostic lights that help in troubleshooting the system and eliminates the look of wires sticking out. Taco zone valve controls works with 2 to 6 zone valves.