Are you considering a variable refrigerant flow (VRF) system to heat and cool your building?

A VRF system is similar to a ductless heat pump with one major exception: it can provide heating and cooling simultaneously to the same building.

You can install multiple indoor units into one outdoor unit, making it an excellent choice for commercial buildings, such as hotels, office complexes, multifamily units, or shopping centers. You can restore an old historical building with no ductwork using a VRF system.

Commercial Cooling Center can quickly connect you to a nearby commercial Carrier dealer to install, replace, and repair your VRF system. We work with dealers who specialize in mechanical systems for commercial and industrial properties in Arizona, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, and parts of Texas.

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How Do VRF Systems Work?

VRF systems can recover heat from cool areas of a building and transfer it to another part that needs heating, saving energy and reducing your operating expenses. Here’s how they work:

  1. The outdoor unit houses the compressor, condenser, and expansion valve. The condenser releases heat absorbed from the indoor units and transfers it to the outdoors.
  2. An inverter-driven compressor operates at different speeds to adjust the refrigerant flow rate to meet temperature demands throughout your building.
  3. An expansion valve regulates the flow of refrigerant between the high-pressure sides and low-pressure sides of the VRF system.
  4. An evaporator located in the indoor units absorbs heat from inside the building and transfers it to the refrigerant. The evaporator coils come equipped with a fan that distributes the heated or cooled air throughout a room.

The inverter compressor is the heart of the VRF system. It adjusts the motor speed to match the heating and cooling load of the system, allowing for precise temperature control in different parts of a building. Doing so creates greater efficiencies than a single-stage system that switches on and off and runs at one speed.

A ductless heat pump system might accommodate up to eight indoor units per outdoor unit, while a VRF can support up to 12 indoor units per outdoor unit. For a larger building, a VRF system makes more sense financially.

VRF Installation

A VRF system costs more upfront than a conventional heating and cooling system, but the payoff comes in lower operating expenses and greater flexibility.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), roughly 40 percent of a building’s energy costs are spent on heating and cooling. Upgrading from an old, inefficient HVAC system to a new VRF system can lower your expenses over the long run.

A VRF also offers a much more environmentally friendly alternative to gas-burning systems. Plus, having no ductwork improves efficiency. No conditioned air will escape before it reaches the room, as often happens with air ducts.

VRF Repairs

Find a Carrier expert near your business who can troubleshoot refrigerant leaks, motor problems, electrical connections, faulty thermostats, and other issues. Carrier dealers offer 24/7 emergency repairs and maintenance for all our commercial clients.

Some common issues with VRF systems involve control wiring, refrigerant piping, and ventilation issues. Whatever the issue, you can count on your Carrier professionals to find the best solution at a practical budget.

VRF Maintenance

Maintaining a VRF system requires the correct training and tools. Scheduled maintenance helps ensure your equipment reaches its expected service life. It also helps to rein in operating costs.

Your Carrier professional will check the refrigerant and other fluid levels during a scheduled maintenance visit. They will look for fan vibration, flush the drain systems, and clean all parts. A tune-up also includes inspecting the control board, the expansion valve, the compressor, and other components.

Regularly scheduled maintenance enables your Carrier technician to troubleshoot problems that could turn into costly and inconvenient repairs.

Learn More About VRF Systems Today

Commercial Cooling Center connects you to a nearby Carrier dealer for all your commercial services. 
Find a dealer to learn more about VRF systems and how they can help improve heating and cooling efficiency in your building.