Variable refrigerant flow or VRF systems are poised to revolutionize commercial heating and cooling. These systems are an ideal solution for our Southern California climate, offering both cooling and heating simultaneously in one system. Plus they’re extremely energy efficient, so they tick a lot of boxes for our commercial clients.
How Do VRF Systems Work?
A VRF system is driven by a single exterior condenser connected to a hybrid branch controller and individual air handlers by copper piping. The branch controller functions in two ways. First, it distributes the chilled coolant to individual air handlers and then it collects the return heat for heating demand. There’s no bulky ductwork to clean and maintain, which allows for installation in tight spaces. Each air handler has a dedicated thermostatic control so that they can operate in cooling or heating modes at the same time with different set temperatures.
Benefits of VRF Systems for Commercial Applications
VRF systems eliminate the need for chillers, cooling towers and other high-maintenance commercial HVAC systems. Some smaller installations may see a higher initial cost but the energy savings can be dramatic, offsetting the initial cost rapidly. At REE Mechanical we recommend a Mitsubishi Electric VRF system installation for commercial HVAC systems rated at more than 100 tons, which previously were serviced by chillers.
Where Do Energy Savings Come From?
VRF systems like those manufactured by Mitsubishi save energy in several ways.
Electricity consumption can be cut by as much as 25% because of low amperage DC technology.
Pinpoint controlled air handlers ensure that each area receives the right amount of conditioning. No more overcooling or overheating to maintain temperatures.
Eliminates Lost Heat
Heat recovery improves the system’s overall efficiency dramatically and allows for the bifunctional heating and cooling. Unlike a traditional heat pump, which simply reverses the flow of heat, a VRF HVAC system extracts hot air off the condenser to produce heat through the hybrid branch controller.
Lower Maintenance Costs
Low maintenance requirements with fewer moving parts and electronic controlling.
Better HVAC for Less Money
Economies of scale translate into air conditioning and heating for a fraction of the cost of a conventional chiller system.
Time to Switch to VRF?
If your commercial chiller or heating and cooling system is due for replacement, contact us for our installation assessment. We’ll review your building layout, energy demands and tonnage requirements to see if installing a VRF system in your commercial operation makes sense!
If financing & rebates are your concern, acquisition funding through Horizon Keystone Financial can assist with quick approvals up to $200,000. Plus, there may be energy efficiency rebates available through state and utility resources.
Contact us or call 1-800-742-0910 to learn more about installing a VRF system for your commercial property.
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