News & Events

Benefits of VRF for Healthcare Facilities

HVAC contractors are seeing a greater demand for Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) technology specified in healthcare facilities. VRF’s unique zoning and superior filtration make these systems ideal for medical centers like managed-care facilities. Below we highlight some of the main benefits these INVERTER-driven HVAC systems can offer:

Precise Comfort Control
VRF offers the ability to heat and cool simultaneously. With a variety of zones – patient rooms, medical centers and lobbies – this function is critical and provides year-round comfort with a single system.

Quiet Operation
Healthcare settings require a quiet atmosphere – your HVAC system kicking on shouldn’t cause disruption between a medical team and patient. Mitsubishi Electric’s latest commercial outdoor units, CITY MULTI® N-Generation, are near silent and equipped with four low-noise patterns for its redesigned fan, in addition to the rated pattern.

Indoor Air Quality
With VRF, each zone has its own filter compared to conventional systems that have one, centralized filter. This can help prevent stale air and keep odors at bay. With Mitsubishi Electric, filters last 10 years and are washable, with multi-state allergen filtration to remove particulates and contaminants from the air with continuous fan operation.

Lower Life-Cycle Costs
The total installed cost of a VRF zoning system is less than or equal to the total installed cost of most conventional systems. For example, the project featured below costs $1.04 per square foot per year compared to the average healthcare building at $2.71 per square foot, per year.* In operation, the systems only utilize the exact amount of energy needed to maintain a comfortable indoor environment.

At Aireco Advanced Products Group (APG), we pride ourselves in understanding how to accurately specify and design VRF for a variety of applications. To partner with the APG team on any of your upcoming projects, contact us at APG@aireco.com.

*As per a report by the U.S. Energy Information Administration

VRF for Managed Care: Coastal Hospice

Established in 1980, Coastal Hospice has brought caring and professional palliative care to the state of Maryland for many years. With their new facility, Coastal Hospice at the Ocean, redesigned by the architects at Becker Morgan Group, Inc., the building provides breathtaking views of the Ocean City skyline for patients and their family members. In choosing an HVAC system for this retrofit project, management wanted a system that could provide energy efficiency and make minimal noise. Allen & Shariff Engineering, LLC worked closely with APG on the project and ultimately specified a water-source Variable Refrigerant Flow system from Mitsubishi Electric Cooling & Heating. Joseph M. Zimmer, Inc., a very experienced CITY MULTI® contractor based out of Salisbury, Maryland, completed the install. Below, you’ll hear from the project’s engineer on the system and application.

Why was Mitsubishi Electric VRF specified? 

It has great zoning capability and can provide simultaneous heating and cooling. With VRF, we can put a cassette unit in every hospice room or every office, which we could not do effectively with traditional systems. Then there’s the ability to provide part-load capacity, the ability to passively dehumidify the space, the high-efficiency filtering options for indoor units and the overall energy efficiency of the system.

The energy efficiency was a huge factor. Hospice facilities often operate off of donations and small budgets, so we were looking at something that would have a small operating budget for them. So, zoning and efficiency were the two big drivers for selecting VRF.

A geothermal, water-cooled VRF system was installed. How did this translate to efficiency?

The facility was an existing community club house. The geothermal well system was existing and the owner wanted to reuse it (wells can be very expensive at first cost). Anything geothermal is usually high-efficiency. That’s when we tied it in with the VRF to make it a geothermal VRF system. The project become super high-efficiency once we did that as VRF systems only use the precise amount of energy required to comfortably heat and cool a zone.

Have you seen a trend in healthcare facilities switching to VRF?

Yes. At this point, my company has specified VRF for multiple medical centers including a cancer center and women’s health center. The cassettes that use the MERV-13 filters are huge for the medical industry. While VRF isn’t always suitable for a hospital setting, medical centers have been helped tremendously by the filtering and zoning capabilities that VRF systems offer – with either ducted or ductless units.

How does APG provide technical support?

Howard Bergman and Michael Stewart from APG provided me with design assistance including review of the equipment selections that I made using the Mitsubishi Electric Diamond System Builder selection software. They were also able to answer any questions that I had during design concerning application of the equipment and controls.
What makes you feel a loyalty to Mitsubishi Electric?

I’ve been specifying it since I started designing VRF systems, probably 10 years now. I’ve always specified Mitsubishi Electric and continue to do so. The support I’ve received from APG is also a big factor. Mitsubishi Electric has comprehensive training; I’ve been down to their factory in Georgia and have been able to take other classes as well. There is a comfort level and familiarity I have with their products. I know their systems. I know their selection software. And I haven’t had any issues with Mitsubishi Electric on any of my jobs. I know that when we specify Mitsubishi Electric, it’s going to be a good project.

METUS Equipment Installed:

  • (3) PQRY-PTSLMU-A WR2 Series Water-Source Units
  • (32) PLFY-EP30NEMU-E Four-way Ceiling Cassettes
  • (12) PEFY-PNMAU-E3 Ceiling-Concealed Ducted Indoor Units
  • (3) PKFY-P12NHMU-E2 Wall-Mounted Indoor Unit
  • (1) AE-200A Centralized Controller

Aireco: Bringing You High-Quality Refrigeration

At Aireco, we are proud to serve our customers with the highest quality manufacturers and technologies on the market. While many in the industry know us for our HVAC distribution, you may not know that we carry refrigeration equipment as well!

We work with top-of-the-line brands that offer a variety of chillers, evaporators, condensing units, walk-in coolers, freezers, ice machines and more.

Refrigeration Brands We Carry:

Available in a multitude of sizes and capacities, we have products for any project including those in the food and beverage, hospitality and medical industries. Next time you have a job that requires refrigeration, be sure to partner with Aireco.

From Historic Home to Restaurant: Northside Social

Built in the 18th Century, the historic Cloverdale House in Falls Church is now home to the second location of Northside Social, a coffeehouse and wine bar. A small space, with three levels and an industrial kitchen, the building needed a system that was unobtrusive, so the ownership could maximize the dining areas. DeMent’s Mechanical Corporation, the mechanical contractor, worked with Aireco’s Advanced Products Group (APG) to specify CITY MULTI® from Mitsubishi Electric Trane HVAC US (METUS). Below, you’ll hear from Doug DeMent and APG’s Brian Maddrey on the job and technical support.

Why was Mitsubishi Electric VRF specified? 

DD: This is a very special project. Originally Panasonic was specified but we made the decision to specify Mitsubishi Electric equipment. At DeMent’s, we only work on restaurants. And if we specify VRF for a restaurant, we always choose CITY MULTI. I’m very familiar with Mitsubishi products as well as APG. We enjoy working with them both very much.

What specific equipment was installed?

DD: For this scenario, we selected the PURY R2-Series Heat Recovery system. These were ideal because of the distance the refrigeration lines had to run. Secondly, this is an old house; there was absolutely no space for a rooftop structure on top. In addition, we installed the AE-200A for full control of the system as well as wall-mounted remote sensors. APG did the start-up and configuration of the controls system.

Why was Mitsubishi Electric the right system for this job?

BM: Ultimately, Mitsubishi Electric was the right system for the space’s tonnage requirements and it’s a much easier system to install and use compared to other brands. With the energy recovery units, the system has the ability to heat and cool off the same outdoor unit on any indoor unit. In addition, our system is the only system that can operate with two pipes. Our competitors use three which increases the amount of copper piping needed, upping costs.

How does APG provide technical support?

DD: As far as setting up times, being punctual and reliable, APG is always there ready to support. They also worked directly with Matt Fields, the project’s superintendent.

BM: DeMent’s is a very qualified and experienced Mitsubishi Electric VRF contractor. That said, per APG’s commitment to our customers and Mitsubishi Electric’s high standards, we conduct a walk through during each project’s install to answer any questions or assist with technical issues. This provides our end user with the highest-quality installation possible, preventing callbacks. We have a checklist for startup that the contractor has to fill out that includes quality markers for addressing of the units, checking the refrigerant amount, and so on. We also offer building owners training on how to take care of their system and how to use the controls effectively as well as programming. We’re very involved from start to finish.

METUS Equipment Installed:

  • (1) PURY-P240TSKMU-A: R2-Series Outdoor Unit
  • (5) PEFY-PNMAU-E3: Ceiling-Concealed Ducted Indoor Units
  • (5) PAC-YT53CRAU-J: Simple MA Remote Controllers
  • (1) AE-200A: Centralized Controller

The Next Generation of CITY MULTI

At Advanced Products Group (APG) we are anticipating the release of the latest innovation from Mitsubishi Electric Trane HVAC US (METUS): N-Generation CITY MULTI®. We are proud to carry state-of-the-art products that our clients can rely on and trust for their effectiveness.

A big advancement for VRF in a smaller package, the new N-Generation high-performance outdoor units deliver better energy efficiency and personalized comfort control to commercial building applications. Below, we highlight some of the new features you won’t want to miss!

Greater Design Flexibility
The N-Generation features a footprint up to 30 percent smaller than previous models and offers more design flexibility due to improvements in vertical piping limits – expanded from 164 feet to 295 feet. In addition, now up to 11 sub BC Controllers can be connected to one main BC Controller, greatly increasing design options. The latest BC Controllers feature a height reduction and service access from the bottom.

Increased Efficiency
The combination of the new heat exchanger, compressor and fan design improve both nominal and seasonal efficiency levels by up to 27% over prior generations, even at part-load conditions. The unique flat tube aluminum heat exchanger ensures maximum heat transfer.

Performance in Even the Coldest Climates
Flash injection technology is now standard in N-Generation High Efficiency models, with up to 78% heating capacity down to -13° F outdoor ambient.

Even Easier Maintenance
Built-in data storage, accessible via USB, stores up to five days of operational data. Using the Maintenance Tool, diagnosis and troubleshooting your VRF system is made even easier.

N-Generation CITY MULTI is slated for launch in Spring 2019.
H2i® models are projected for launch in Fall 2019.