We introduced Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) zoning technology to the U.S. more than 10 years ago and currently, it’s the fastest growing HVAC technology on the market. There were two critical steps in its path to industry and end-user acceptance: the passing of Air Conditioning Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) Standard 1230 and the launch of the AHRI VRF Certification Program. This year, we celebrate the third anniversary of its success.
We began working with AHRI and other HVAC manufacturers on the program in 2003. AHRI Standard 1230, the first and only standard in the world for testing VRF zoning products, was passed in 2009. The AHRI VRF Certification Program, which validates the performance of VRF zoning equipment based on the standard, was officially launched in September 2011 with five manufacturers on board – us being one of them. To date, the program includes nine manufacturer participants and 1,367 certified models with at least 168 more expected to be certified this year. We are proud to report that all of our systems that have gone through certification verification testing over the past three years have passed! Here’s why the program continues to pick up steam:
All-Inclusive: The program tests a full range of VRF capacities, from 5,000 Btu/h indoor units to 760,000 Btu/h outdoor units. It allows manufacturers to certify ratings including full load cooling capacity, energy efficiency ratio (EER), heating capacity, coefficient of performance (COP) and simultaneous cooling and heating efficiency (SCHE). The program also provides a method for testing and rating integrated energy efficiency ratio (IEER), which involves four tests at different capacities and temperatures to simulate annual usage – this is where VRF really shines.
Third-Party Validation: Products are tested, under the direction of AHRI, at a state-of-the art Intertek facility in Plano, Texas, which was designed with input from all manufacturer participants to ensure that equipment is tested fairly and accurately. Manufacturers’ performance claims are independently measured and verified by the experienced Intertek team.
Reassurance: The program ensures that manufacturers are rating and certifying their products honestly and, better yet, adhere to a higher standard when developing VRF zoning systems. It ensures that products will perform as specified, provide predictability, optimize energy efficiency and improve client satisfaction.