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Why Schools are Switching to VRF HVAC Technology

Last updated: 09-03-2020

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Why Schools are Switching to VRF HVAC Technology

Now, more than ever, educational organizations from K–12 schools to colleges and universities are experiencing pressure to do more with less. When balancing a tight budget with limited resources, it can be challenging for schools to ensure that their operational needs are effectively met. With these challenges in mind, more and more schools and universities are getting rid of their old traditional HVAC systems and instead integrating variable refrigerant flow (VRF) technology due to its efficiency and affordability.

Variable refrigerant flow is an innovative HVAC technology that provides business and homeowners with an affordable and efficient alternative to traditional HVAC systems. VRF is a large-scale, precise zoning system that can perform at a high capacity with the ability to customize temperatures in different areas of the building while accommodating varying comfort needs. The systems are sleek, compact, and easy to install while providing quiet operation.

Whether they are replacing older HVAC systems, working on renovating existing buildings, or constructing new ones, schools and universities around the U.S. are often choosing VRF systems over traditional HVAC equipment. Below are just a few reasons why schools and universities are making the switch to VRF.

When analyzing “complete” system costs, VRF systems are often more affordable to purchase and install than other options, especially when schools are replacing inefficient and obsolete HVAC systems during the renovation. VRF systems can be ductless and require fewer components than traditional systems, reducing the initial costs for retrofit. Because smaller refrigerant lines are used rather than large traditional ducts, VRF systems are easier to install, and installation labor costs are more affordable.

In addition to the cost savings when it comes to installation, VRF also helps schools and universities save more on energy costs over time. VRF systems are highly efficient and often generate enough in energy savings over time to pay for any additional first-cost of VRF equipment. This is especially true for school environments that may run both heat and air conditioning simultaneously given that VRF systems use zoning for more efficient comfort. Even a partial VRF system installation, like what took place at Pearl River Elementary Schools, can make all the difference when it comes to energy savings.

Another significant benefit of VRF for schools and universities is that these systems make it easy to control comfort settings across the building. VRF systems use zoning, allowing the equipment to heat some areas while cooling others or provide different temperatures settings in various areas throughout the building. With these zones, VRF systems can deliver just the right amount of comfort to the right spaces, making it ideal for accommodating different needs across the building. Improved comfort creates a better learning environment, which makes for happier, healthier, and more productive students. Just ask Forestville Elementary, who switched to VRF to offer better comfort control for teachers, students, and administrators.

Want to find out more about how organizations in the education vertical are taking advantage of new HVAC technology? Learn how CE’s partnership with E&I provides members with better opportunities when it comes to purchasing HVAC purchasing options or contact our team today for more information.


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