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by Rifat A. in Blog 0 comment

If you’ve been researching for advanced heating and cooling solution for your commercial space or maintenance facility, you probably came across variable refrigerant flow or VRV system. These advanced heating and cooling system not only offers improved comfort but also reduces overall operating costs.


Variable Refrigerant Flow: Know the Basics

VRF HVAC – Definition

VRF system is a ductless heating and cooling unit that cools the space by using a refrigerant line and various small air handlers.

When you buy a traditional HVAC system, you’ll have to install the air ducts in the facility or building, which requires a lot of space. But with the VRF system, you won’t have to install any air ducts in your commercial space. Because it supplies cool air through refrigerant lines and small air handlers.

Again because of these small air handlers, users can set the temperature of every section of the commercial space individually. Moreover, it’s more energy-efficient than traditional heating and cooling units. With this variable refrigerant flow system, you can save up to 50% of the total energy consumption.

Variable Refrigerant Flow System Working Procedure

The heating and cooling process of the VRF system is a bit complex, but you can compare it with a mini-ductless HVAC system. It uses a heat pump to provide maximum heating and cooling in your commercial facility.

When you install the VRF system in your commercial space, your space will have several indoor units, which will be controlled by an outdoor condenser unit. Again, this outdoor unit has inverter fans that can adjust the speed based on the power frequency. When you turn on the VRF system, it’ll note down the temperature set by you and the outside temperature. After that, it implements its own logic and sets the exact temperature needed to give you comfort.

The VRF system has a unique feature that allows it to read the outside temperature and set the inside temperature accordingly. This makes this state-of-art HVAC system more energy-efficient and best for commercial usage.

3 Types of Variable Refrigerant Flow Systems

1.      Heat Recovery System

It’s a less popular and sophisticated VRF system among all the VRF types. With this VRF system, users can have both heating and cooling from each indoor unit.

2.      Heat Pump VRF System

This VRF system is mostly used in commercial facilities where users can get either heating or cooling from the indoor units; it doesn’t offer both heating and cooling at the same time. Again, this VRF system comes with dry mode and fan mode features.

3.      Cooling VRF AC Systems

This type of VRF system can only be used for cooling purposes; heating isn’t available. Like the heat pump VRF system, this VRF system also has a fan and dry mode features.


Difference between Variable Refrigerant Flow & Variable Refrigerant Volume

Unfortunately, many people think that variable refrigerant flow and VRV are two different technologies. But actually, these are the two names that describe one HVAC technology.

In 1980, Daikin invented the VRF system based on the inverter technology and registered it as the VRV or Variable Refrigerant Volume system. Till today, they use this VRV name for marketing their VRF system. But other HVAC manufacturing companies use VRF or Variable Refrigerant Technology for the similar HVAC system.

So, the bottom line is that both the VRF and VRV systems are the name of the same HVAC technology, and there is no technological difference between them.


Benefits of Using Variable Refrigerant Flow System in Commercial Spaces

1.      Saves Valuable Space

As we all know, commercial spaces are very expensive, and if you use most of them for installing the HVAC system, it won’t be financially viable. If you want to save space and have a heating and cooling unit at the same time, you should consider installing the VRF system. With a VRF system, you can reclaim up to 10% of the commercial space used by traditional heating and cooling unit.

VRF system offers multiple installing options such as wall mount, suspended, floor standing, etc., to its users. Besides, with a VRF system, you can have more natural light in your modern commercial space. Again, if your commercial facility is a bit old or not built with an HVAC system in mind, no worries. Because when you install a VRF system in your building, you won’t require dedicated HVAC design or renovation in your space.

2.      Low Maintenance Cost

Yes, it’s true that the VRF system costs more than traditional HVAC units, but it’ll benefit the owner in the long run. Unlike other HVAC systems, the VRF system has a low maintenance cost, which makes it more useful for commercial spaces.

As VRF or VRV functions based on demands, it’ll have less wear and tear. As a result, it’ll need less maintenance and repairs. Eventually, it’ll enable you to save more money on repair and maintenance costs.

Again, commercial spaces require an HVAC system, which can run all year long. When you install a regular HVAC system in your commercial facility, it’ll need yearly repairs and maintenance, and for this, you’ll have to stop using the HVAC system for a while. But VRF system doesn’t have any of these problems. You can run the VRF system throughout the year.

Besides, to install the unit, you won’t have to build or reconstruct your space. You can easily fit the VRF system in your commercial facility, which enables its owners to save both time and money.

3.      Maximum Comfort with Minimum Energy Consumption

Traditional HVAC system cycles on and off frequently and produces hot and cold air. But due to frequent on and off cycle, it consumes a lot of energy and increases the electric bill. Besides, sometimes users don’t get their desired comfort from a regular HVAC system. But VRF or VRV system functions at a continuous speed throughout the operation. As a result, unlike a traditional HVAC system, it consumes less electricity and provides maximum comfort.

If you’re a facility manager or owns a commercial space, you know how important it is to save money on heating and cooling bills. And by using the VRF system, you can save money and ensure maximum comfort at the same time.


FAQs about Variable Refrigerant Flow

1.      Is Variable Refrigerant Flow System Difficult to Install?

No. As it doesn’t need any air ducts, VRF systems are very easy to install and need minimum space to install it.

2.      What is the Variable Refrigerant Flow System’s Use?

VRF or VRV systems can be used in commercial spaces, large buildings, apartment complexes, and small single-family houses.

3.      How VRF System Provides Continuous Heating?

VRF system absorbs the heat from one room and transfers the same heat to another room where heat is needed. Thus, it provides continuous heating in a commercial space.



If you’re searching for an HVAC solution that can give you comfort, design flexibility, and energy-savings, you should buy a VRF system. Yes, upgrading from a traditional HVAC system to a VRF system is a significant and costly investment, but trust me, it’s worth it. After installing the VRF system in your commercial facility, you’ll be able to see a drastic change in energy consumption and comfort.


See the summary of this article here – 3 Types of VRF Systems [Infographic]


3 Types of VRF Systems
3 Types of VRF Systems


By the way, are you looking for an HVAC system for your home?

Check out Green Leaf Air Store where we have a wide range of residential & commercial HVAC system including: –

Besides, for any Air Duct Cleaning, AC installation, AC replacement and AC repair services, call Green Leaf Air to ensure you get the best quotes and satisfying service.

Rifat A.

HVAC Expert, Author & Mathematician... rifatahmed.com

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