What is a VRF Air Conditioning System? What is a Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) air conditioning system?

The term variable refrigerant flow refers to the ability of the system to control the amount of refrigerant flowing to each of the evaporators, enabling the use of many evaporators of differing capacities and configurations, individualized comfort control, simultaneous heating and cooling in different zones, and heat recovery from one zone to another. (ASHRAE Journal, April 2007)

In laymen’s terms, VRF systems are essentially larger, more complex, versions of direct expansion (DX) split systems much like the one you likely have in your home. The technology was pioneered in Japan by Daikin back in the early 1980s, but has only recently gained popularity in the United States. These systems have continued to advance over the years, and numerous other notable manufacturers like LG, Mitsubishi, and Trane also offer versions of VRF systems.

The diagram below indicates how a single outdoor VRF condensing unit can serve various styles of indoor units (wall mounted, ceiling cassette, concealed ducted, PTAC style).

There are distinct Advantages of VRF over traditional systems, such as:

Construction Flexibility – The modular nature of both the indoor and outdoor units simplify installation and allow for future expansion.
Occupant Comfort – VRF systems rely largely on individual zone control and can hold a more consistent temperature in a space.
Energy Efficiency – VRF systems are highly efficient. This carries increased importance as building energy codes are becoming more and more stringent and owners are recognizing the rising cost of energy from utilities. (These systems are often used in LEED and Austin Green Building Program compliant buildings due to their energy efficiency.)
System Redundancy – VRF condensing units are often equipped with multiple compressors. This provides a level of redundancy as compared to standard split systems where each indoor unit is paired with a dedicated outdoor unit with a single compressor.
Installed Capacity Reduction – A reduced total tonnage of air conditioning equipment is installed to serve a building due to the ability to shift heating or cooling capacity from one part of a building to another.
Sound levels – VRF indoor and outdoor units create much less noise than traditional DX split systems.

VRF versus VRV versus VRT

Inverter vs conventional comp pic
Daikin is an 80-year old company that is dedicated to manufacturing refrigerants and air conditioning equipment. In recent years, they have purchased well known US based manufactures such as McQuay and Goodman and have become the largest manufacturer of air conditioning equipment worldwide. In the 1980’s, when Daikin began selling this technology, Daikin used the acronym “VRV” meaning Variable Refrigerant Volume.

As other manufacturers such as Mitsubishi and LG developed competing products, they called it “VRF” (Variable Refrigerant Flow) and since the term “VRF” has become the more widely used term for this technology.

Arctic Moose Ltd coined and describes the group, including all manufacturers of Variable Refrigerant systems as "VRT" meaning Variable Refrigerant Technologies.

Our Partners

Schedule an Appointment Today! Whether you live in UK area, our technicians are available 24/7!


© 2016 Arctic Moose All rights reserved. Design by Efficient Signs

We respect your privacy and will not spam you