When multiple people occupy a home, frequently one person’s sensation of comfort is another’s sensation of uncomfortable cold or warmth. When two such occupants share the same room at the same time, they will arrive at solutions such as adjustment and compromise. However, contemporary heating and cooling systems also acknowledge that different temperatures may be called for in different rooms of a single home. Alternatively, different rooms may be exposed to different conditions and thus require more or less heating and cooling than others to achieve optimal climate conditions. The solution in these situations is zoning.
In the context of heating and cooling systems, laminar flow describes the smooth, unhindered passage of air through duct work. The opposite of laminar flow is turbulent flow, where the air tumbles around, getting caught in pockets, churning chaotically in vortices and doing a poor job of circulating. When air flows through the system smoothly, energy is conserved, whereas when the air flows turbulently, friction increases, momentum is lost and energy is wasted.