Dual Zone Climate Control is the process of splitting the interior of a vehicle into sections or zones and each section can have
a separate air conditioning setting.
Climate control is part of the HVAC (Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning) system which also controls the defrosting of
windscreens, heating of steering and seats and ventilated seats.
Most automotive climate control systems can be described as using sensors and an ECU to add additional features to
basic vehicle air conditioning.
The sensors measure the temperature in and out the vehicle so the system can automatically adjust to keep a constant setting
inside the vehicle irrespective of the temperature outside.
The sensors also test the air for any unwanted particles for air purification devices to clean the air, remove odours and adjust
the humidity before it enters the passenger cabin.
Several types of systems are described below with each zone benefitting from the advantages listed above. An advanced climate control
system can have more then one compressor in the engine bay.
Dual Zone Climate Control
There are separate controls for the driver and front passenger allowing them to have different temperatures and fan speeds
if so desired. This will ultimately result in the entire left and right sides of the vehicle with different air conditioning.
Controls for both zones are on the dashboard where you would normally find air condition controls.
Three Zone Climate Control
There are separate controls for the driver, front passenger and the rear seat. This allows passengers in the rear seats of
the vehicle to have their own settings independent of the dual settings of the front. Controls for the rear seat climate control are
usually located at the rear of the center console. For vehicles such as minivans, large
crossovers or SUVs with a third row of seats the second seat
settings is usually used for the third row.
Four Zone Climate Control
There are separate controls for the driver, front passenger, and the rear seat is divided in two with separate controls
for each half allowing four passengers to enjoy their own climate control settings. If there are five passengers in the vehicle
the person sitting in the middle of the rear seat will enjoy a mixture of the left and right rear settings.
Because of the different zones the air condition vents are located in several areas around the interior of the vehicle.
In addition to the regular location of vents on the dashboard, these extra vents can be located at the rear of the center console
(over the rear seat controls), in the b-pillars and in the roof of the vehicle.