When it comes to air conditioning, individual preferences for what temperature is “comfortable” make pleasing everyone a huge challenge. If maintaining the “right” temperature in every area of your building has been a headache this summer, it might be time for a change — and a zoned AC system may be just the solution you need.
Different areas of a building typically have different cooling requirements based on how and when they are used. Apartments, offices, computer rooms, storage areas, lobbies, kitchens, dining rooms, retail spaces, warehouses — they all have their own specific needs throughout the day (and night).
The simplest way to implement a zoned AC system involves creating zones and installing programmable thermostats to monitor and control the temperature in each zone. The thermostats control dampers in the ductwork to regulate the flow of cooled air to the different zones.
Another method that is gaining popularity is Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF), a zoned HVAC technology. If you’re thinking about replacing your entire HVAC system, VRF might be the solution for you.
What’s more a VRF solution offers a number of advantages as a zoned AC system:
IT PRECISELY CONTROLS TEMPERATURES FOR MORE CONSISTENT COMFORT. A VRF system has the ability to gauge the temperature requirements of each zone and deploy just the right amount of coolant needed. The result is a more consistently comfortable temperature, without the hot and cold spots that can plague some systems.
IT’S ENERGY EFFICIENT. Because a VRF system is designed to provide each air handler with the exact amount of coolant needed to cool a zone under the current conditions, the system can run less frequently and at a lower capacity — which in turn uses less energy.
IT’S HIGHLY RELIABLE. A zoned AC system using VRF technology is designed to run only when needed and under partial load conditions. This helps to reduce the stress on parts and the chance of system breakdowns.
IT’S QUIETER THAN TRADITIONAL AC. For residential and business use, the variable capacity of a VRF zoned AC system means it can keep the whole building cool without running at full blast — making the system quieter than a traditional split system. Plus, the indoor air handlers are smaller and quieter with VRF.