Your air conditioning system is on the fritz and you’re thinking maybe it’s time for a replacement rather than another costly repair. Or maybe you’re concerned that the system in the office building you manage is not on top of its game or is approaching the end of its useful life. One option you might want to consider for your business is a VRF (Variable Refrigerant Flow) system.
Benefits of a VRF system
The benefits of a VRF system are many including operational efficiency, which is important for your employees’ comfort and your wallet. In a nutshell, here are the advantages of a VRF system:
- Consistent comfort
- Quiet operation
- Energy efficiency
- Installation flexibility, great for tight spaces
- Heat & cool simultaneously
- Zoned heating & cooling
- State-of-the-art controls
- Fewer breakdowns/less downtime
So, now you might be asking yourself, what exactly is a VRF system? To understand the benefits of a VRF system, here are some basics about its operation. Next, we’ll explore each of the benefits.
VRF systems: maybe it’s time to jump on the bandwagon
Though most of us are familiar with the traditional HVAC system that consists of a large central unit pumping out air to our entire space, VRF system installations are gaining traction in the U.S. and are becoming increasing popular, especially in large urban areas where building space is at a premium. VRF systems have been a popular choice in Europe, Japan and China for quite some time.
As opposed to having one large, noisy central unit, one of the main benefits of VRF a system is it consists of smaller air handlers that can be individually controlled and piped back into the system. As its name implies, this type of system has the capability of controlling the amount of refrigerant flowing to each air handler.
What does all that mean for you, your business and your comfort conditions? Read on to learn more about the advantages of the VRF system.
Top 7 advantages of a VRF system
1. Consistent comfort
The compressor unit of a VRF system has the ability to accurately identify the requirements of each zone and send the precise amount of refrigerant needed to each air handling unit. This precise flow eliminates cold and hot spots and humidity issues, and facilitates the consistent comfort that will help promote employee productivity. When looking into the benefits of VRF systems, outfitting your building with consistent comfort is a no-brainer.
2. Shhh! Quiet operation
Typically, the louder condensing unit that is part of a VRF system is located outside your building. The smaller air handlers are smaller and quieter than those associated with a large central unit with bulky ductwork. So you won’t have loud AC noise disrupting business.
3. Energy efficiency
One of the appealing benefits of a VRF system is it promotes energy efficiency because the system is designed to supply the precise amount of refrigerant necessary to cool a room under a room’s current condition. This results in the system running at a lower capacity and less frequently. The system also has the ability to capture heat as part of the cooling process and channel this heat to other locations in the building, which may need heating.
4. Installation flexibility/small space friendly
Another one of the advantages of a VRF system is its compact size and flexibility. A VRF system travels lightly. There’s no need to tie up space for a large maintenance room or service shafts. Distribution fans, hefty pipes to circulate fluids and water pumps are not required for its operation. Besides these benefits of a VRF system providing for an easier install, it also translates into less space for your air conditioning system and more space for your use.
Since VRF systems do not normally require ducts and use relatively small air handlers, it gives you more flexibility for handler locations and obviates the need to take up wall and ceiling space for large ducts. This is welcome news to anyone who does not want to introduce ductwork into high ceilings. If you’re cramped for space as is the case with many office buildings in NYC, a VRF system is a space-saver because ductwork and mechanical rooms are not necessary.
5. Heat & cool simultaneously for zoned heating & cooling
One of the attractive benefits of VRF a system is that it can deliver cooled air and heat simultaneously. VRF systems capture heat recovered from the cooling process and can redistribute this excess heat to an area of your building that needs heat. Another one of the advantages of a VRF system is different heating and cooling zones can easily be accommodated. Often different rooms have different heating and cooling demands. Your computer room likely will require cooler temperatures than your offices.
6. State of the art controls & smart technology
Here’s one of the advantages of a VRF system that might not have initially entered your thought process. You can actually use your mobile device to set temperature settings in different zones. If you’re running a commercial establishment, you may even be able to forego the purchase of costly building management software.
Smart technology undeniably is one of the benefits of a VRF system because it’s just that – smart. Besides supplying the proper flow of refrigerant to each air handler based on operating conditions, a VRF system is able to track system conditions and provide maintenance alerts. One of the advantages of a VRF system’s monitoring capability is it helps ensure the tiptop operation of your climate control system.
7. Fewer breakdowns/less downtime
Inarguably, one of the big benefits of a VRF system is they tend to break down less frequently. Let’s face it, no one wants to be with our conditioning in the dog days of summer or without heat in the dead of winter. There is less stress on the parts because VRF systems are designed to run only needed and under partial load conditions.
Don’t overlook VRF HVAC systems for your office air conditioning
If you own or manage a small office or business in NYC and are keeping your fingers crossed that your AC system makes it though another summer or if you are currently experiencing subpar climate control conditions, exploring the benefits of VRF systems is a must for a thorough review of your options. As you can see, there are many appealing benefits of a VRF system that can help you achieve efficiency and consistent comfort.
To learn more about what air conditioning system might be right for your building, check out our free guide: The Ultimate Guide to NYC Light Commercial Air Conditioning.