Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) zoned technology was introduced to the U.S. market as an energy-efficient, all-electric heating and air-conditioning option for commercial and light commercial spaces. Supported by integrated controls and sensors, VRF systems provide customizable comfort in spaces with diverse usage and occupancies, such as educational facilities, as well as other commercial applications. More and more businesses throughout the Hudson Valley are discovering that variable refrigerant flow (VRF) systems are the best choice for heating, ventilating, and cooling their commercial buildings. It works well in both new structures and older buildings, where its compact size makes it ideal for retrofits.
Offering the latest and greatest in heating and cooling technology, variable refrigerant flow systems are designed to provide the utmost comfort while saving substantially on operational costs. There are many benefits to VRF systems; energy efficiency, quieter operation, and the ability to heat and cool various spaces within a building at the same time.
Like conventional commercial HVAC systems, VRF systems are air-cooled and refrigerant-based equipment, with outdoor condensing units and indoor fan coil units (FCU) or air handling units (AHU). A compressor is linked to the indoor fan coil units, where occupants can enjoy individual controls for each space. In addition to simultaneously cooling one area while heating another, the system can transfer cool air from spaces being heated and vice versa.
Variable refrigerant flow systems are equipped with a network of smaller delivery units, rather than pumping air through one large noisy air handler. These individual air handlers can be controlled separately and pipe air back into the system. The heating and cooling system controls the amount of refrigerant delivered to the individual air handlers, hence its name “variable refrigerant flow.”
VRF systems require less space in commercial buildings:
Variable refrigerant flow systems integrate well with other systems and costs less for long-term maintenance. Since there are multiple air handlers, these parts are small, and most VRF HVAC systems don’t require ductwork, saving space in a commercial building while still keeping it comfortable.
Quiet and more energy-efficient:
One major selling point for VRF: Lower utility costs, which is always a concern for New York and Connecticut building owners. The use of individual air handlers allows for less noise during operation. The refrigerant flow is regulated based on need, making these systems more energy-efficient. This means it runs at a lower capacity and less often than other systems. It also saves costs by transferring heat from the cooling process and reusing it in areas that may need heat.
The U.S. General Services Administration installed VRF in several federal buildings and reported that, “Preliminary findings suggest that VRF systems can achieve 34 percent and higher HVAC energy cost savings.”
Comfort Control VRF has proven its value in office buildings, courthouses, stores, restaurants, apartment buildings and other structures that need customized heating and cooling in different areas at the same time. This feature allows businesses to deliver heat to individual offices while cooling large meeting spaces at the same time.
Zoned buildings also benefit from VRF because the system’s compressor sends the exact amount of refrigerant needed. This prevents hot and cold spots and also controls humidity – all common complaints among people using other HVAC systems. The controls are also more modern and provides building owners with the advantage of avoiding purchasing costly commercial building management software. Facility managers can use mobile control technology to easily adjust temperature settings for every zone.
Even if VRF systems cost more than traditional central heating and air conditioning, you can recover the money through lower energy bills and maintenance costs. And you will have a more satisfying and smarter system to heat and cool your facility.
D.P. Wolff technicians are professionals at installing and servicing VRF systems. Call us at (914) 767-0515 to discuss how VRF can meet or exceed your heating and cooling needs.