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Using VRF Systems for Historic Retrofits


vrf systems for historic retrofits

Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) systems are uniquely designed to address the challenges of HVAC retrofits in historic buildings. Their flexibility, energy efficiency, and aesthetic considerations make them stand out.


Here are five compelling reasons to consider VRF systems for HVAC retrofits in historic structures:


  1. Minimal Structural Impact: VRF systems require less space for equipment and can be installed with minimal disruption to the building's structure. This is particularly important in historic buildings where preserving the integrity and character of the structure is a priority. The small, flexible piping of VRF systems can be more easily routed through existing spaces, avoiding significant renovations or alterations to the building's fabric.

  2. Adaptable Installation: VRF technology's modular nature allows for phased installation, which can be very beneficial in settings where it may not be feasible to undertake a full-scale HVAC overhaul all at once. This adaptability can help plan and execute retrofits in historic buildings that are still in use or have limited periods when they can be closed for renovations.

  3. Energy Efficiency: VRF systems are highly energy efficient. They use variable motor speeds and allow for precise control of refrigerant flow to match the cooling or heating demand of each zone or room. This can significantly reduce operating costs, a critical consideration for any retrofit project, especially for historic buildings with higher maintenance and preservation costs.

  4. Zoning Capabilities: Historic buildings often have varied occupancy and diverse usage patterns, with different areas requiring different temperature settings. VRF systems excel in providing customizable zoning capabilities, allowing for individual control of various areas or rooms. This ensures enhanced comfort for occupants and is more efficient than systems that only offer centralized control.

  5. Aesthetic Flexibility: VRF systems' indoor units are available in various configurations, including ceiling-mounted, wall-mounted, and floor-standing units. These can be selected to minimize visual impact in historically sensitive interiors. The exterior units are compact and can be placed in less obtrusive locations, preserving the building's external appearance.


In summary, VRF systems offer an excellent solution for the complex requirements of HVAC retrofits in historic buildings, balancing the need for modern comfort and efficiency with the imperative to preserve architectural integrity.


Contact Insight Partners today for your next historic retrofit application - Insight Partners (insightusa.com/contact)!


A big thanks to LG Air Conditioning Technologies USA for this excellent video below:


Join us for an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the remarkable transformation of Dr. C.J Hellmann's 200-year-old farmhouse in Independence, KY. This beautiful property now boasts a seamless integration of LG's ducted and duct-free units, harmonizing modern comfort with classic aesthetics.


In this project profile, LG's Phillip Kriegbaum, in collaboration with Call Now Heating and Cooling and Corken Steel, worked together to design an energy-efficient solution that perfectly suits the family's needs.


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