A VRF or variable refrigerant flow system is compact, provides design flexibility and includes the efficiency and cost-savings of zone control
My husband and I are working on plans to build a house. We’ve purchased a beautiful piece of property and are looking forward to breaking ground on our dream home. I wasn’t quite prepared for the amount of decisions that need to be made. Everything from the location of the septic system and number of windows to the design of the roof is important and a bit overwhelming. We are worried about making mistakes now that we will then live with for many years to come. I’ve been researching different types of heating and cooling systems. There are pros and cons to forced air furnaces, central air conditioning, boilers, air-source heat pumps, geothermal heat pumps and VRF systems. I like a furnace and air conditioner combination because of year-round centralized temperature control that can handle the worst weather extremes. I’m not overjoyed with the idea of ductwork. A duct system takes up a great deal of space and tends to be responsible for a lot of energy waste, noise and air contamination. A boiler provides a lot of versatility, linking to baseboard heaters, radiators and radiant flooring, but offers no cooling capacity. An air-source or geothermal heat pump is more expensive to purchase and install but would save quite a bit of money on monthly utility bills. However, I’m a little concerned that a heat pump will struggle to keep up with demand during the worst of the winter weather. A VRF or variable refrigerant flow system is compact, provides design flexibility and includes the efficiency and cost-savings of zone control. Although I really like this option, I am having some difficulty finding a contractor in my local area who is knowledgeable in VRF design and installation. I’ve read that an inexperienced contractor can make mistakes that will significantly diminish the system’s capacity and reliability.