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by • May 14, 2013 • HVAC & DehumidificationComments (9)3710

The “Lexus” of HVAC – Mitsubishi VRF System overview

I’m a huge HVAC geek and I’m really excited to show off my first house with Mitsubishi’s Variable Refrigerant Flow technology. The video was shot at a new house I built with Architect Scott Ginder of Dick Clark Architecture and it has the most advanced HVAC system I’ve installed to date. Most Heat Pumps are single speed meaning they are 100% ON or 100% OFF and they are sized for the 99 degree days. This results in a blast of cold air and very short run times most of the year.  In recent years manufacturers have pushed two stage equipment which can run at 60% or 100%.  The Mitsubishi system I’m reviewing in the video uses VRF technology to vary the capacity from 15% to 100% in 1% increments.  This gives ultimate comfort and efficiency and is why I call this the “Lexus” of HVAC systems!

Join me as I interview local Building Science expert Kristof Irwin (he designed the system for me) to discuss Mitsubishi VRF. This is a long video, but it’s worth your time if you are building or remodeling and want to hear about the best HVAC system available in today’s marketplace.

-Matt Risinger

Risinger Homes is a custom builder and whole house remodeling contractor that specializes in Architect driven and fine craftsmanship work. We utilize an in-house carpentry staff and the latest building science research to build dramatically more efficient, healthy and durable homes.
Be sure to check out my video blog on YouTube.  

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  • Is a supplemental dehumidifier not necessary on on a VRF system?

    • Kdogg: I would generally say that it’s not necessary to do a stand-alone dehum if you are putting a VRF system in the house. There might be some exceptions to this but my general thought is that the VRF will control humidity sufficiently to not need one. Best, Matt

  • So, salient takeaway is: efficiency of existing “inverter” mini-splits, but in a conventional air handler package? There must be some extra energy loss in pumping air through ducting around the house; are there figures that quantify this? I presume installation costs could be higher for a new install (due to ducting install), but might be actually less than mini-splits for retrofitting a house in a conventional “American” install?

    • Yes, very good summary. There is probably some inefficiency of ducts & blower vs mini-split heads but I’m not sure how to quantify. The ECM DC motors on these high static pressure units run very efficiently at fully variable speeds. These are much more efficient than their American counterparts. Thanks for commenting. Matt

  • Always interesting reading your blog and work. After seeing this video and above text, I started looking at material prices from online vendors. With multi zoning, prices added up Very Fast for our home (15k-20k in materials for 4300 sqft ranch needs 8 ton peak). I couldn’t even imagine what the contractors bid might be for install.

    With that said, has any non biased scientific studies been performed on a home with a system like this to understand the cost savings and life cycle cost analysis vs a conventional HVAC system?

    • Charlie, If you are talking multiple air handlers and zoning then this can get pricey fast! The apples-to-apples approach with one air handler and one outdoor unit is much closer in price to a standard “American” hvac setup. I would need to research of there are any third-party studies to review. This VRF technology isn’t just a Mitsubishi exclusive. LG from Korea and Daikin from Germany also have similar systems & efficiencies. Best, Matt

  • Kyle McDonald

    I need to get a new HVAC system for my house. I think that I will try one of the ones you were talking about in your article. I want to get a really nice system for my home. That way, it will always be at the perfect temperature. http://www.browermechanical.com/hvac.php

  • dean

    Hey Matt,
    Thank you for sharing all of your knowledge! So, I am building a home. Why is it that no hvac dealers are open to the idea of mitsubishi vrf with multiple tradional air handlers like this set up? They all push me toward more traditional high end split heat pumps like the greenspeed etc… If I need 4 air handlers for my home why wouldn’t I want to put one mitsubishi multi outside with 4 of the inside ducted air handlers like this video? ( and then I could also add some ductless in my shop etc)

    • Matt Risinger

      Dean, Agreed. Sorry to hear of your troubles. I’m hopeful that demand for these systems will increase the number of installers who are qualified to bid & install these systems. You might call a Mitsubishi rep and see if there is a “Diamond Installer” in your area. That’s their designation for an HVAC contractor who has all the training. I wish you the best. Matt