VRF Systems in Canoga Park
Technology changes rapidly, and the heating and cooling industry is no exception. VRF or Variable Refrigerant Flow systems are a relatively new technology to the Southern California area. Although they have been installed here for more than 20 years, only in recent years, have we seen more and more homeowners and businesses adopt the technology for their buildings. Canoga Park Heating & Air Conditioning provides professional VRF installation, service, and repair to the entire San Fernando Valley.
What are VRF systems?
- VRF, or Variable Refrigerant Flow, is a type of heating and cooling system. It’s a heat pump, which means it can provide both cooling and heating – and in some cases, simultaneously! There are many technologies that exist to provide comfort cooling and heating to spaces. Some of these other types of HVAC systems include:
- Split DX (split direct expansion)
- Window air conditioners or window units
- Split heat pump
- Packaged DX (packaged direct expansion) sometimes called packaged rooftop units
- Window air conditioner
- Electric strip heat
- Chillers and Cooling Towers
Physical Differences Between Common HVAC Systems and VRF Systems
To start to understand a VRF system, it helps to explain the physical differences. Most people in West LA are familiar with two of these systems, a split DX system for air conditioning and a furnace for heating. In a split direct expansion system, the refrigeration cycle is literally split between two pieces of equipment: an outdoor coil and an indoor coil. Then, ductwork travels throughout the space to deliver cool air to the rooms.
Comparatively, a VRF system has multiple smaller indoor coils located in each area that requires cooling, instead of one sizeable indoor coil. These smaller coils are encased in different styles of equipment called indoor units. Because the indoor units are already located in the space that requires conditioning, there is no need for ductwork. This is why VRF systems are sometimes referred to as ductless systems.
What makes a VRF system so great?
VRF systems have several benefits.Energy-efficient – VRF systems have incredibly high efficiency ratings because they are designed to use the minimum amount of energy required to get the job done.
One example is the control of refrigerant in the system. If your home has a split DX unit, you might notice that your air conditioner will turn on, run for several minutes, then turn off. This would be akin to driving a car on a highway where the speed limit is 60mph, but the car’s accelerator only has two options – pressed fully down to full speed, or no pressure at all. To reach 60mph, the driver could accelerate at full speed, then release the accelerator until the car slows. Besides the safety aspect, this type of car would be very inefficient! But, this is how most air conditioners work – full blast or nothing.
VRF systems, on the other hand, work more like cruise control. Once you have set cruise control to 60mph, the car controls to that speed, even when the grade changes to uphill or downhill. Similarly, VRF systems run continuously, adjusting the valve positions to ensure the space always remains comfortable.
Most people would associate air conditioning and heating with comfort. But, we’ve all beeen in a room where we feel far too warm or much too cold. Since VRF systems operate on a space-by-space basis, each room can be controlled individually.
Consider this: every space in your office building could have its own temperature setting. Each office, conference room, or lobby area could all be at a different setpoint. That would undoubtedly put an end to thermostat wars and space heaters under desks.
Some air conditioners create a lot of noise, which is a nuisance we’ve all learned to deal with. Have you been in a hotel room where the A/C kicks on with a BANG? VRF systems are so quiet, you might question if they are even on! The indoor units are as quiet as a library – literally!
VRF systems offer a compact alternative to traditional residential and commercial HVAC systems. As mentioned above, VRF systems don’t require ductwork to provide space conditioning. That can be especially useful in a retrofit or renovation of a space that isn’t designed with a plenum. For example, VRF is an excellent choice for a historic building that previously had no air conditioning at all.
Plus, variable refrigerant flow systems are heat pump systems. That means they offer both cooling and heating. That means you won’t need a furnace or any other heating equipment.
Not to mention that VRF outdoor units are much more compact than traditional systems. So, if you have a zero-lot-line home or just a tight space to fit an air conditioning unit, VRF is a great solution.
What kinds of buildings can use VRF systems?
Variable refrigerant flow systems are suitable for many kinds of structures. They are an excellent fit for residential buildings like single-family houses, apartments, townhomes, or duplexes. Commercial buildings can also benefit, including offices, nursing homes, hotels, and retail stores.
There are many types of VRF systems on the market suitable for any size building. The smallest size VRF is around 3 tons, but units can be combined to create an extensive network, ideal for high-rises or office complexes.
For one-off rooms or spaces, like a pool house or a security booth, you might consider a ductless mini-split. These systems offer all of the same benefits of VRF, just in a smaller size.
Trust us with your VRF project
VRF is still relatively new to the market, and there are not a lot of contractors that are trained to install and service them in West Los Angeles. Here at Canoga Park, our technicians have been trained extensively by VRF manufacturers to install VRF systems. Call us now to ask about installing a new Carrier VRF system in your home or business. If you have a system already installed, we are able to service and repair any other kind of VRF systems like Mitsubishi VRF, Daikin VRF, Samsung VRF, Lennox VRF, LG VRF, and more.
Call us now to learn more about our VRF installation and maintenance services!