Variable refrigerant flow (VRF) systems have become increasingly popular for both residential and commercial use. Suitable in a wide range of applications, many people turn to VRF systems for reliable heating and cooling when there isn’t enough space to install extensive ductwork or ventilation. For clients looking to heat and cool their smaller spaces without major retrofitting, a VRF system can be an excellent choice.
Traditional furnaces and central air conditioning systems require a network of ducts and vents located throughout a building to deliver air to each space. For buildings that don’t have the necessary ductwork already in place, this can create serious (and costly) headaches. And when space is limited to begin with, it may simply not be feasible to add extensive ductwork to a building.
HVAC systems themselves can also take up a great deal of space inside and outside the building. Traditional air conditioning outdoor units tend to be large and cumbersome—and forced-air furnaces can take away from valuable square footage inside the home.
Fortunately, VRF systems make it possible for nearly any building to receive energy-efficient, fully customizable heating and cooling areas throughout; all of this done without the need for costly and labor-intensive retrofitting. This is because variable refrigerant flow systems can utilize ductless indoor units, that can operate through a network of individual cassettes and one centralized heating and cooling outdoor unit.
VRF indoor and outdoor units take up very little space and save homeowners and commercial building owners the expense of adding ductwork and possibly ventilation, depending on comparative traditional systems. In commercial settings, the physical space saved by VRF units can also help businesses make better use of their square footage. Additionally, VRF HVAC systems can also allow for simultaneous heating and cooling, which is ideal for offices, hotels, warehouses, and other commercial projects where heat may be needed in one space while cooling is required in another.
In addition to saving space, VRF systems are among the most energy-efficient heating and cooling options available today. Compared to traditional HVAC, VRF systems are estimated to be 35% to 50% more efficient. For homeowners and business owners alike, this energy efficiency can translate into huge savings.
There are many situations where a VRF system can be a practical option for saving space and avoiding substantial retrofitting. However, one of the more common applications where VRF is seen in small spaces is historical buildings. In residential and commercial historical buildings, retrofitting or making any changes to the structure of the building itself is typically not permitted. And because most historical buildings did not have ductwork in the first place, this means a traditional HVAC system simply wouldn’t be possible to install without utilizing technologies that might be unsightly or impractical.
This is where small VRF systems can really save the day, allowing a historical building to receive the heating and cooling requirements needed without any ductwork installation or other major retrofitting required. This same concept can apply not just to historical buildings, but also buildings where retrofitting or renovations may not be permitted. This is often the case in larger commercial spaces that are shared with other businesses.
For HVAC professionals looking to provide their clients with the latest heating and cooling technology, adding VRF systems to your list of offerings is a must. As more people begin to see the benefits of VRF systems for small spaces and otherwise, the demand for these innovative systems is sure to increase. By being on top of this technology, you’ll be prepared for the high demand that’s sure to come.
At CE, we’re proud to carry a wide range of VRF systems and all the equipment needed to make installation a breeze. Contact us today to find out more about our offerings or browse our inventory of heating and cooling parts online!