Why Variable Refrigerant Flow A/C Systems Make Sense for Remodeled Homes

Traditional ductwork based air conditioning system

Today, VRF Systems, also known as Variable Refrigerant Flow Air Conditioning Systems, are gaining in popularity in new home construction and with remodeled homes where  homeowners are seeking high efficient air conditioning systems that offer greater flexibility and comfort.  Traditional air conditioning and heating systems tended to have an outdoor compressor that sends conditioned refrigerant via a copper tubing to an indoor air handler as shown in the picture here.  The air handler chills the air in the air handler and its blower fan moves the chilled or heated air from there to each room via air ductwork.  Generally speaking, this limits the temperature of each room to a common thermostat.

Mention this article and get $750 off on a VRF or VRV Air Conditioning Systems over 46,000 BTUsWhen a homeowner wants greater control over the temperature in each room, a VRF A/C Systems is the ideal choice for many reasons – especially when it comes to a remodeled home or where an open ceiling design limits attic space.  With a VRF system, you have one or more compressors located outdoors that feed conditioned refrigerant to individual air handlers that are much smaller and in many cases, eliminates the air ductwork.  Each room has its own thermostat that controls just that unit.  With this type of system, you have literally have a room that is using the heat, while another room is either turned off or is being cooled for unmatched room by room personal control.

Example of a VRF Air Condition System - Berkun Air

A Modern VRF Air Conditioning System reduces ductwork, while providing the flexibility of room by room temperature control.

Another benefits is that if only one room is requesting cooling, the outdoor compressors runs at a much slower speed, delivering only enough conditioned refrigerant to cool that room and no more.  As the demand increases in that room and others, the outdoor compressor will generate the exact amount of conditioned refrigerant to meet the demand to keep your energy costs as low as possible.  And because little to no cooling ducts, there is much less energy loss from those cooling ducts located in a hot attic.

What is a VRF Heating and Cooling Systems?

Variable Refrigerant Flow Systems (VRF systems) are heating and cooling systems that utilize a technology developed in Japan in the early 1980s to meet the nations stricter energy requirements following the global gas crisis of 1973.  These systems were not only ultra efficient, but they offered unmatched flexibility for a variety of building techniques, especially in buildings where attic space may be limited for ductwork.

Highly Efficient Operation

Berkun Air technician making final adjustments on a VRF Air Conditioning System for a Palm Beach home remodeling project.

Designed to be ultra efficient, when a single room needs cooling capacity, the outdoor condenser unit generates only enough cooling capacity to meet the immediate demand vs trying to cool and entire home as is common with many central air conditioning systems.  The VRF Air Conditioning Systems only operates in rooms that need conditioned air, allowing other rooms to be completely turned off.  Todays VRF Air Conditioning Systems work at about 30% higher efficiency as compared to conventional systems.

How long have VRF been around?

First introduced in Japan in 1982, VRF Systems were not offered globally until 1991.  These systems did not take off initially because they were new, and they required technicians to be certified to design, install and initialize.

Who can install a VRF System?

With a VRF Systems, each room can be controlled by its own thermostat.   Because a VRF Air Conditioning System is highly flexible, they have to be designed for the home as a whole unit and requires a cooling and heating network to be laid out.  This is not a task for an untrained air conditioning technician.

Important Note:  Most air conditioning manufacturers require that the designer and installer be certified for each system before the factory they will honor the warranty of the VRF Air Conditioning Systems.  This can come at a big shock to homeowners when years later, they find that their system isn’t covered by the warranty.

When are VRF Air Conditioner Cost Effective ?

VRF Air Conditioning systems are most cost effective in new home construction or major remodeling efforts where air duct work doesn’t already exist, or where the owner wants greater room by room temperature control.  For homes that already have ductwork, and the owner doesn’t want this level of control, it is often more cost effective to just replace the air conditioning systems while using the existing ductwork.

Berkun Air can always give you advise on what best works for you.

Quiet Operation

Conventional systems tend to have large air handlers.  When they are called upon to deliver conditioned air, the centrally located air handler moves a large volume of air throughout the homes air duct systems.  The very nature of these systems make them inherently noisier.

With a VRF Air Conditioning System, each room has its own ultra quiet blower, thus eliminating the need for air ducts.  Additionally, the fans of both the outdoor unit and individual rooms run at only the speed needed to bring that room / zone to the desired temperature.  This results in a much quieter system.

Can you compare Duct Work-based Air Conditioning vs Ductless ?

The very nature of a traditional duct based air conditioning system is that they tend to loose a fair amount of energy from the large surface area of the ducts themselves.  And lets not forget where most air ducts are located – in a hot attic !!  This only compounds the problem of energy loss.

When are VRF Heating and Cooling Systems most practical?

VRF Air Conditioning Systems are most practical in new construction and in remodeled homes.

Can you run heat in one room and cool another at the same time with a VRF System ?

Yes.  Each room is fed by separate cooling and heating piping systems.  The room’s thermometers controls the controls of which piping systems is used to meet the demand for that room.

Berkun Air has over 10 years experience engineering its own VRF designs and installing these systems.  We have a proven track record working with Palm Beach’s finest architects and builders.  We are certified to do our own engineering and design.

Whether you are a home owner, a builder, or an architect, if you have questions about VRF or VRV systems, please don’t hesitate in calling an expert with a decade of experience working with system from DaikinMitsubishiFujitsuSamsung or LG, give Berkun Air of West Palm Beach a call at (561) 842-842-4362.  

Want more information on VRF Air Conditioning Systems?  Talk to a VRF Air Conditioning System Expert.

Here are two more articles you may be interested in reading:

LG VRF Air Conditioning Systems Now Offer Corrosion Resistance Solutions

Mention this article and get $750 off on a VRF or VRV Air Conditioning Systems over 46,000 BTUs


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Jeff Berkun - Owner of Berkun Air, West Palm Beach

Jeff Berkun – Owner, Berkun Air in West Palm Beach, FL

Founded in 1982, Jeff Berkun has run his business based on providing customers with outstanding service and expert advise.

Berkun Air is an authorized Trane Comfort Specialist with top tier status.  This means that Berkun is authorized to perform warranty work on all Trane products.  Berkun Air is also one of the few air conditioning companies to be awarded an A+ Rating from the Palm Beach County Consumer Affairs Division.

If you are a home owner, an architect or building in #PalmBeach, consider Berkun Air.  Give us a call at (561) 842-4362.

About Berkun Air Expert

Berkun Air serves Palm Beach Country (Florida), including Palm Beach, West Palm Beach, Highland Beach, Boca Raton, Gulf Stream, Ocean Ridge, Hypoluxo Island, Manalapan, South Palm Beach, Delray Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, North Palm Beach, Royal Palm Beach, Boynton Beach, Jupiter, Lake Worth and Wellington.
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