Technology is changing the HVAC industry like never before. More specifically, variable refrigerant flow (VRF) is altering the way people heat and cool educational complexes, healthcare facilities, hotels, office buildings, and multi-family residences. According to MarketsandMarkets research company, the VRF market was worth over 11 billion dollars in 2015, and this figure is predicted to reach more than 24 billion dollars in just five years (by 2022). That equates to an 11.4% compound annual growth rate, which is pretty incredible. But when you look at the unbeatable versatility and energy efficiency that VRF systems provide, the exponential growth begins to make sense.
New to the United States but Widely Used Overseas
It may seem like VRF is a brand new technology that is just emerging; however, the truth is that VRF systems are only new to the United States. In fact, VRF technology has been used in other countries since 1980. It is actually the most popular HVAC technology in many overseas markets, making up 90% of installed commercial systems in Japan, 86% in China, and 81% in Europe. But it’s clear that while the U.S. may be newly exposed to VRF technology, we are on our way to having just as high of a usage percentage.
When it comes to VRF usage in the United States, the Northeast is currently the most popular market, with the Southwest, West Coast, and Mid-Atlantic also experiencing strong VRF interest. VRF systems are especially popular in places where comfort is of the utmost important, such as health care facilities, classrooms, hotels, and office buildings.
Why VRF Is the Future
So what is it that is making VRF technology grow at such a rapid pace? There are many factors that cause people to opt for VRF over traditional commercial HVAC systems:
- Higher energy efficiency
- Smaller footprints
- More flexibility in zoning
- The ability to heat and cool simultaneously
- More advanced integration with other systems
- Quieter operation
- Lower long-term maintenance and repair costs
- Simpler to use
- Able to combine with other HVAC equipment, such as rooftop units or chillers, for complete zoning versatility
Carrier Is Leading the VRF Market
When it comes to VRF systems, Carrier is making HUGE strides in gaining acceptance with engineers and contractors. Every day more and more Toshiba-Carrier and Carrier/Bryant VRF systems are being installed! Carrier is the only manufacturer that has both two and three pipe heat recovery systems for more adaptability to the complex applications required in the Commercial construction market. Additionally, the Toshiba Carrier single-phase VRF system is the only available VRF single-phase system that is capable of both cooling and heating simultaneously with 6 and 12-ton modules, dramatically expanding the applications of VRF systems.
The future of VRF is bright, that much is certain. Considering only 37% of HVAC engineers have applied a VRF system to their designs, there are still a lot of people that need to discover how amazing VRF technology can be. To learn more about how you can implement VRF systems into your next job, contact us now.