How much does VRV air conditioning cost?

Author Rod Marchant-Smith | Peninsula Air Conditioning

North Sydney resident, David asks

“How much does it cost to have VRV air conditioning installed? My wife and I are having a new home built on Sydney‘s north shore and are weighing up our options”

Variable refrigerant volume (VRV) airconditioners, also referred to as ‘ VRF or variable refrigerant flow’ are top-end systems.  The primary difference compared to other units is the flexibility it gives the property owner in terms of climate control.  For example, in a five-bedroom house, a VRV system would allow you to set each room at a variable setting.  For example, one bedroom could be set at 24 degrees, while simultaneously another could be set at 27 degrees.  This differs from centralised systems that blast a single temperature range throughout the entire house.

In terms of cost, we quote on the system size.  A VRV system is made up of one, or a collection of outdoor units, and many more indoor units.  A typical request would include one or two outdoor units and anywhere between five and 12 or 15 indoor units.  When it comes to the indoor units of the system, there is a range of choices available.  The options cover different capacities, but also the types of units and what they are designed for.

For example, a commercial building may choose to install cassettes.  These are square items placed in the centre of the ceiling and have refrigerant pipes running to the VRV outdoor units.

It’s all about choosing the right option for your needs.  If you want a system to cool a bedroom, you may select a smaller bulkhead ducted unit, which is almost silent when operating.  Alternatively, in an industrial setting, you may opt for a big 25-kilowatt fan cooler that has the capacity to blow vast quantities of air all over the place.

So the beauty about VRV systems is they’re very flexible.  You can create any kind of complex system to achieve your cooling goals.  You can also integrate them into building management systems so that whoever controls the building can manage them too.  There are also safety features built into the system, such as fire trips.  If the fire alarm system goes off, it automatically shuts the whole of the air conditioning down.  The last thing you need to be doing is blowing fresh air into a room that’s on fire, so this makes sense.

The pricing structure varies according to the scale of the installation, and therefore the range is vast.  You may choose to install something simple like an entry-level single outdoor unit and just two bulkheads at either end of your kitchen and lounge/diner for residential use.  A quote for this would be in the range of $14,000. A home that is ducted with five bulkheads would be quoted in the range of $25,000.  For a school, you would be looking at anything up to $1,000,000.

While VRV systems are a bigger investment than other options, the beauty is the versatility and control you have over each room.  The systems come with multiple features that make life easier too, such as controlling the various temperatures in rooms from your smartphone.

As with all air conditioning units, regular maintenance is important to keep it running efficiently and keep your warranty valid.  Annual maintenance for a VRV system would cost in the range of $400 to $1,000 based on its setup. We offer our customers a maintenance contract, and this needs to be factored into your budget.

Are you interested in a VRV system?

Whether you have a standard sized family home or a commercial building, we will quote you on the best VRV air conditioning system for your needs.  Get in touch, and we will send out a technician to inspect your property and offer you the best solution.

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