variable refrigerant flow

What is Variable Refrigerant Flow?


Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) has become a buzzword in the HVAC industry, especially when it comes to commercial applications. Though VRF technology has been used across the globe for the last three decades, it has only become available and widely used in the United States since the early 2000s. VRF HVAC has quickly become known for its efficiency and ability to offer an attractive return on investment for those that use it for their commercial properties.

Whether you’re a business owner or commercial property manager, you can benefit from leveraging this technology for an efficient and practical commercial HVAC solution. Below, we’ll talk more about what VRF is and what benefits it can provide for commercial HVAC applications.

What is Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF)?

Variable refrigerant flow is an HVAC technology used to create a large-scale ductless system that can perform efficiently at high capacity. VRF technology is used to provide both cooling and heating to different areas within one general space. The specific design of your variable refrigerant flow system will depend on the application. For example, commercial applications require a different approach than VRF HVAC systems designed for residential properties.

Instead of one unit providing conditioned air for the entire space, VRF systems use several smaller air handlers that can be individually controlled, providing occupants with the ability to customize temperature settings in different areas of the building. The term VRF actually refers to the HVAC system’s ability to control the amount of refrigerant that flows to each of the smaller handlers.

How does a VRF HVAC system work?

Much like a traditional central air conditioning system, a VRF system is air-cooled and refrigerant based. It uses outdoor condenser units and indoor fan coil units to operate. However, this is where the similarities end.

With a VRF system, multiple indoor fan coils can be connected to just one outdoor unit that has one or multiple compressors which are inverter driven. By changing the frequency of the power supply to the compressor, the compressor speed can be adjusted. As the speed changes, so does the amount of refrigerant that the compressor delivers. By operating at varying speeds, VRF HVAC systems only operate at the necessary capacity for current load conditions.

Due to the versatility of this technology, VRF systems can be tailored to meet the unique needs of nearly any HVAC project. Though they are most commonly used for commercial applications given their ability to efficiently heat and cool large areas as well as their flexibility in zoning for temperature customization, VRF equipment can also be used for residences such as single-family homes.

VRF System Advantages and Disadvantages  

There are many VRF system advantages and disadvantages. The best way to determine if a VRF system is right for you is to review the benefits and drawbacks and weigh your options. Below, we’ll cover just a few of these advantages and disadvantages:

VRF Advantages

There are a variety of reasons why business owners and homeowners alike choose a VRF HVAC system for their business or home. Variable refrigerant flow technology provides a wealth of benefits for cooling and heating any sized space:

1. VRF systems offer optimal energy efficiency.

Variable refrigerant flow systems use less energy than traditional central air conditioning systems. These systems are designed to use only the amount of cooling that is needed for current conditions, which means that the equipment operates at a lower capacity and runs less frequently. This helps you save more energy over time, which leads to major costs savings.

2. Variable refrigerant flow HVAC provides better comfort control.

Since VRF systems use multiple air handlers, they allow occupants to adjust temperature in different areas to maximize comfort. While a conventional system may offer individual controls, the temperature still tends to fluctuate as the compressor starts and stops. With VRF HVAC systems, you don’t have this temperature fluctuation, allowing homeowners and business owners greater control over their comfort throughout the day.

3. Less down time means less wear and tear on HVAC parts.

The VRF HVAC system is designed to only run when it’s needed and only operate at the exact capacity needed to meet comfort conditions. That means that there is less wear and tear on the systems parts, which results in fewer breakdowns. Similarly, if something happens to one of the air handlers, the others are not impacted, so only one area will be affected rather than your whole space.

4. You can heat and cool your space simultaneously.

With VRF HVAC systems, you can heat and cool your building or home simultaneously, allowing for even better control over your comfort. With VRF, the system captures residual heat that’s absorbed from the air during the cooling process and then redirects that heat to the areas that need it. This is especially beneficial in commercial applications where some rooms may have fewer people (like private offices) and others may have more people (like conference rooms), each requiring a different level or heating or cooling based on the number of bodies generating heat.

VRF Disadvantages

Though there are many benefits to using a VRF system for your residential or commercial property, there are also some drawbacks. Here are just a few factors that you will need to consider if you decide that VRF is right for you:

1. VRF systems have higher up-front costs.

Though you will save more over time on energy costs, VRF HVAC systems often cost more up front than traditional central air systems. However, this cost is often offset by the energy savings. The best way to determine if the up-front costs are worth it is to speak with an HVAC expert who can help you compare costs and benefits.

2. VRF HVAC systems require an experienced HVAC installer.

Since VRF HVAC systems are extremely sophisticated, they require an installer who is experienced with VRF systems. Not only do you need to find a reliable, professional HVAC company that has experienced with VRF installations but also one that can service this equipment as well. Fortunately, Advent has HVAC technicians that are experienced in both VRF installation and maintenance/repair. In fact, we are one of the few HVAC companies in the area that specializes in this HVAC technology.

3. Consider the size of the air handlers when choosing VRF equipment.

Though this isn’t a disadvantage of VRF, it’s still important to mention – when you are choosing a brand of VRF equipment, you’ll need to consider the size of the air handlers. Some VRF HVAC brands provide much larger units, but not every space requires a unit of that size. The HVAC experts at Advent Air will be able to help you with this as part of the installation process.

Dallas VRF HVAC Systems

Looking to implement a variable refrigerant flow system in your commercial building? The experts at Advent Air Conditioning can provide installation, maintenance, and repair for both residential and commercial VRF HVAC systems in the Dallas and Fort Worth area.

Call us today to learn more: (469) 240-5456.

Holiday Home Improvement

Holiday Home Improvement: 5 Ways to Get Your Home Ready for the Holidays

Holidays can be stressful enough with an influx of out-of-town guests, a rise in financial responsibilities, and an increase in family obligations. The last thing you need added to your plate is an unforeseen issue with your home and the unexpected costs that come with it. Here are some tips to prepare your home and have a smooth holiday season.

1. Clean the microwave…but not the stove.

Your appliances are going to get messy this season, so it’s best to start with a clean slate. Wash the microwave’s tray in the dishwasher and clean the interior with a damp cloth and some mild detergent. Be sure to check the vent for built-up dust and grease, and remove any residue with a spray degreaser.

When you’re on a roll cleaning your appliances, it may be tempting to set the oven to self-clean, but hold off for now. This cycle puts a lot of stress on your appliance. Instead, give it a quick surface clean the day before and save the wear and tear of a deep-clean until after you’ve finished preparing the meal.

2. Prep the fridge for leftovers.

As you make your plans for various family feasts, you’ll need room in your fridge for both ingredients, as well as leftovers. Purge any half-opened bottles, throw out any Tupperware whose contents are questionable, and wipe down the shelving. You’ll also want to make sure your refrigerator itself is in tip-top shape so that nothing spoils. Make sure to tighten any loose screws and gaskets so that the door shuts tight, preventing any cold air from escaping.

As with the microwave, you’ll want to check for any blocked vents in both the fridge and freezer sections. A blocked vent can stop cold air from circulating and prevent food from being stored in proper conditions. It can also cause your appliance to work inefficiently, costing you money. If you find your fridge is in need of a tune-up above your pay grade, try a review website like Angie’s List to find a reputable contractor to take care of your refrigeration needs.

3. Declutter common areas and prepare your guest bedroom.

With more guests comes more stuff. Make room in your home by decluttering common areas and stocking your guest space with essentials so that your guests feel comfortable. Put away anything that isn’t seasonal and find a new home for those shoes, umbrellas, and miscellaneous items.

Many out-of-town guests may be staying overnight, so make sure closets and drawers are empty. This gives them enough space to unpack their things and feel more at home. Stock up on toilet paper and travel-sized toiletries so that your guests have everything they need.

4. Test your smoke detector.

Smoke detector batteries need to be changed every six months, so if you can’t remember the last time you changed them, go ahead and do that now. You’ll be cooking more frequently, heating the house for guests, and the decorations themselves are often ripe for fire hazards. You’ll want to be sure that you’re prepared in the case of an emergency.

5. Have a pro inspect your furnace.

The winter months can take a toll on your HVAC system and that toll is amplified when you’re fitting more people into smaller spaces. Routine HVAC Maintenance is key to avoiding problems, so be sure to change your air filter. And if it’s been awhile since you had a routine inspection, schedule one early in the season.

Having a tune-up at the end of fall to early winter ensures a comfortable and problem-free holiday. Need to schedule your tune-up? Advent can help homeowners make sure their home stays nice and comfy this holiday season, no matter what the weather is.

Call us today at (469) 240-5456 to schedule.

Furnace Not Working

Furnace Not Working? These 5 Problems May Be to Blame

Furnaces are one of the most complex appliances you may own and if you’re experiencing issues with yours, there are a variety of reasons you might be facing difficulties. When the heat isn’t flowing, the furnace is making an unnerving noise, or the machine won’t even turn on at all, there’s a good chance one of these issues might be to blame:

1. Dirty Filters

Dirty or clogged air filters impede airflow, making a furnace work harder to circulate. Occasionally, a clogged filter may damage the limit switch which controls the fan. Cleaning or replacing the filter once a month is an easy and inexpensive way to remedy this issue. A furnace repair professional can show you how to do this if you are unsure.

2. Malfunctioning Thermostat

A defective thermostat can lead to problems with the fan and your comfort levels. Check the battery level in the thermostat. In some models, simply replacing the battery may do the trick. Also, be sure to test the thermostat settings. The fan setting should be on “Auto.” In the “On,” “Low,” “Medium” or “High” settings, the fan will run endlessly, draining the battery and causing your furnace to run inefficiently. If you want more information on how using your thermostat more effectively can save you money, visit energy.gov.

3. Wrong Size Furnace

If your furnace isn’t heating your home well enough, your equipment may just be the wrong size for your space. If your furnace is too small for the size of your home, it will run continuously in an attempt to compensate. In addition to running up your electric bill, this can increase wear and tear on your appliance, leading to costly repair issues in the future. It is suggested to have a professional assess the size of your home and recommend a furnace that will be appropriate to your needs. 

4. Wear and Tear

Normal wear and tear can cause airflow problems, heat control-related problems, or even overheating. Unless you received training to repair furnaces, let professionals handle problems related to mechanical wear and tear. Otherwise, you may void the warranty on the appliance or accidentally cause a larger problem.

5. Lack of Maintenance

If you fail to schedule annual furnace maintenance and inspections, this could lead to unexpected problems and breakdowns. These routine inspections can help your appliance run more efficiently and reliably, saving you money in the long run. Every year, at the end of the summer or beginning of fall, hire a furnace repair specialist to inspect and maintain the furnace. The professional will get the unit ready for the upcoming cool weather and fix problems that could cause breakdowns or expensive repairs during busy winter months.

When all else fails, call in the experts!

When troubleshooting your appliance doesn’t solve your furnace issues, never hesitate to contact one of our trained HVAC contractors at Advent Air. Any furnace, regardless of its age, may pose safety hazards, so it’s always a good idea to have an expert examine the unit and suggest the best course of action.

Contact us today to schedule an inspection or repair: (469) 240-5456.

Carrier Greenspeed Intelligence Technology

What is Carrier Greenspeed™ Intelligence?

Home comfort isn’t the only thing to think about when it comes to buying a new HVAC system. For many homeowners, energy efficiency also plays an important role in their purchasing decision. Carrier, a world leader in HVAC, has developed specialized Greenspeed™ Intelligence technology allowing homeowners to enjoy both optimal home comfort and energy efficiency.

Below, we’ll explain what this technology is and what it means for home comfort systems. In addition, we’ll also discuss whether this may be the right option for your home comfort needs. Let’s dive right in!

What is Greenspeed™ Intelligence?

Carrier has developed Greenspeed Intelligence technology to make their top-of-the-line Infinity control system even better for homeowners. Carrier designed their Infinity systems with a specialized indoor control that allows homeowners to better adjust and control their comfort levels to meet the unique needs of their home and family.

In addition to allowing homeowners to monitor and control humidity, this state-of-the-art system also offers reminders for when parts or accessories need maintenance or replacement. Overall, the Infinity system is the ultimate in home comfort technology, making it easy and more convenient for homeowners to keep their families comfortable during any season.

As part of their dedication to offering a range of high-efficiency HVAC systems, Carrier developed Greenspeed Intelligence to take the Infinity system one step further. With Greenspeed Intelligence technology, the equipment runs quietly and at different speeds. This capability allows the unit to operate on longer run times with steady capacities for better humidity management.

By maximizing performance and providing more precise temperature control, the Carrier Infinity Series with Greenspeed Intelligence gives homeowners more control over their home comfort. Homeowners also benefit from units that offer quiet operation and maximized energy efficiency, which leads to optimal home comfort and savings on energy costs over time.

Choosing a Carrier Infinity® System with Greenspeed Intelligence

If you are in the market for a new heating and cooling system and want to upgrade to a more energy efficient model, then you may want to consider the Carrier’s line of energy-efficient units. Carrier offers both the Infinity 20 Air Conditioner and Infinity 20 Heat Pump with Greenspeed Intelligence.

Both of these units offer efficiency levels up to 20.5 SEER (13 HSPF for the heat pump) with quiet operation and the highest comfort features available. When using these systems together in your home, your family will be able to experience and enjoy both optimal home comfort and high efficiency.

Is Carrier Greenspeed Technology Right for You?

If you want an energy efficient system that gives you better control over humidity and home comfort with minimal noise, Carrier’s Infinity® Series with Greenspeed™ Intelligence may be the right HVAC equipment for your home. These advanced HVAC units will help you keep your family comfortable year-round without sacrificing the great benefits of energy efficiency.

Not sure if the Carrier Infinity system with Greenspeed Intelligence is right for you? Our home comfort specialists would love to provide a consultation to help you determine which HVAC system is right for your home needs.

Give us a call today to speak with someone from our team: (469) 240-5456.

Ductless HVAC

Why Go Ductless? The Pros and Cons of Ductless HVAC Systems

Most homeowners are familiar with the standard centralized heating and air conditioning system. This system is typically controlled by one thermostat. Each unit distributes hot or cool air throughout the home through a system of ducts. For decades, the centralized HVAC system was THE standard in home comfort solutions. There wasn’t a more efficient or effective way to heat or cool your home…until now.

What is a ductless HVAC system?

A ductless HVAC system is a complete unit that is wall-mounted and can provide both heat and air conditioning for a room or entire floor of a home. These systems are easier to install than centralized HVAC systems due to the lack of ductwork. In smaller homes, the ability to mount the entire system on the wall can help save on energy. Ductless systems perform just as well as their centralized HVAC counterparts. However, one unit is often not enough to heat or cool a two-story or larger single story home.

Ductless systems are typically more expensive than centralized units. However, when you factor in the costs of ductwork installation or repair, ductless systems can be more affordable. They are ideal for smaller or single story homes or additions.

Advantages of ductless HVAC systems

The difference between ductless and centralized systems is clear. But how does this main difference translate into benefits for the newer ductless system? By eliminating the need for ductwork, ductless systems provide these key advantages:

  • Improved energy efficiency – Regardless of the energy grade of the specific model of the ductless system you choose, the ductless nature of these systems improves energy efficiency. The extra energy used to force air through ductwork as well as the energy that is lost through leaky ducts creates energy savings of up to 30% for ductless systems.
  • Limited carbon footprint – The energy savings will help reduce your carbon footprint by heating and cooling your home with the same effectiveness for less energy.
  • Cleaner airDuctwork is frequently dirty. Since the ducts are hidden, cleaning out ductwork is regularly overlooked until issues arise or homeowners start to notice a foul odor. Getting air directly from the source limits the number of allergens in the air that is pushed out into your home.
  • Comfort Flexibility – Each ductless unit has its own controls. What this means for homes with multiple ductless units is that each resident can choose their separate temperature preference for their room or section of the house.

Disadvantages of Ductless Systems

While ductless systems were generated to improve home comfort system solutions, there are certain limitations to the ductless technology. Those limitations include:

  • Higher upfront cost – The cost of a ductless unit will likely be greater than the cost of an air conditioner and furnace combined. However, this difference can be negated through hefty installation costs associated with ductwork. Not to mention, homeowners may save more money over time through energy savings.
  • Air distribution – Generating the hot or cool air directly from the unit and with no connection to the rest of the house, ductless systems can struggle to singularly heat or cool larger homes. Luckily they have the flexibility to be easily installed anywhere in a home to compensate for this.

Is a ductless system right for me?

Considering the limitations that can occur with ductless systems, it’s best to work with a professional HVAC specialist in Dallas to find out if a ductless HVAC system is right for you. After working with the HVAC professionals at Advent Air Conditioning, you will be able to better see just how you can experience the energy saving benefits of a ductless HVAC system.

Give us a call today to find out if ductless is right for you: (469) 240-5456.

 

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