How to clean the air conditioner drainage with your own hands

Installing multi-zone air conditioning systems. In details

Multi-zone air conditioning systems or simply VRF-air conditioners are modern, technologically sophisticated devices for air cooling. They are designed on the basis of a conventional split system and look similar to the usual air conditioner, but their «filling» has a number of features.

In this article, we will briefly describe what multi-zone air conditioning systems are, how they differ from standard split systems, and what nuances need to be taken into account when installing a VRF air conditioner.

What is a multi-zone system?

A few years ago, a new variety appeared on the market of modern air conditioning systems — the so-called «Variable Refrigerant Flow», or VRF for short, less often VRV.

As the basis of a multi-zone air conditioner, a conventional split system is used: there is an outdoor unit that is mounted outside the air-conditioned room, as well as indoor units that are mounted already in the room itself.


In this case, the external and internal blocks are connected by freon pipelines. And externally, VRF air conditioning systems look like the usual devices for air cooling.

Despite the external and internal similarity with a conventional air conditioner, the VRF system is fundamentally different. Just look at two key differences:

  • Presence of splitters

The first key difference between VRF and a conventional split system is the presence of special splitters. Thanks to them, the refrigerating agent is evenly distributed in the internal units of the air conditioning system. At the same time, there are two types of splitters: for liquid refrigerant and for gaseous. When using liquid refrigerants, the splitter is mounted on a high-pressure line, and when using gas-on a low-pressure line. Thanks to this system, the air conditioner works many times more efficiently.

  • Availability of automation

The modern multi-zone VRF system boasts the presence of built-in automation, which is designed on the basis of microprocessors. For the full functioning of such an air conditioner, a complex program is created that allows you to simultaneously control many parameters in automatic and semi-automatic mode. At the same time, the user himself will not notice any difficulties when setting up the air conditioner.

Features of installation of multi-zone systems

You already know that the multi-zone system is built on the basis of a conventional split system, which means that the principle of operation is largely similar. This simplifies the installation process somewhat. In theory, VRF-air conditioning can be installed by specialists who are engaged in the installation of conventional split systems. But in practice, it turns out that despite the design similarities, a multi-zone system is more difficult to install. It is important to take into account all the features of the operation of such an air conditioner.

So, for example, some manufacturers have VRF-air conditioners with the function of refilling the refrigerating agent in a simplified mode. This function is often used before starting and commissioning operations.

features of installation of multi-zone systems

The refueling system works on the basis of automation and at first glance it seems quite harmless. But in fact, it turns out that such automatic systems may have built-in limitations. Therefore, it is important to correctly determine the required length and diameter of the pipelines.

This is just one of the nuances that you will encounter when installing VRF air conditioners. Next, we will give some important recommendations that are important to follow when installing multi-zone air conditioning systems.


Before carrying out installation work, develop a full-fledged project. When installing, strictly follow the design plan.

Start by installing the indoor units and installing the refrigerant piping. Connect them using splitters. Do not connect the pipeline to the external units, this procedure should be performed only after the installation of the external unit.

Before laying the pipes, be sure to seal both the incoming and outgoing ends. Without proper sealing, moisture or any foreign objects may enter the pipeline. Make sure that the dimensions of the pipeline and splitters are chosen strictly in accordance with the project. Discrepancies in length, height differences, and an excessive number of loops are not allowed.

installation of multi-zone systems

It is important that you have access to the terminals of each indoor unit during installation. With the help of a loop, you must connect all the indoor units, as well as provide in advance the possibility of remote and / or central control of the air conditioner.

Next, you can start installing the drainage system. Plan in advance what the slope will be and where the condensate will drain. Gravity drainage is easier to install and easier to operate, but in some cases it is necessary to install a drainage pump. This point should also be taken into account in advance, preferably when drawing up a project.

If you have done everything correctly at this stage, start lifting and installing the outdoor unit. This is one of the most important and difficult stages, especially if the work is carried out at a high altitude. First, a special frame is mounted, after which the air conditioner unit itself is installed on it. Do not forget about the installation of vibration dampers.

Please note

So, the outdoor and indoor units are installed. It remains to connect the pipelines to them. This can be done by rolling and / or soldering. We recommend using both connection methods, depending on the situation. After connecting, check the tightness of all connections.

By vacuuming, remove all excess air from the pipeline and fill it with refrigerating agent. The air removal procedure is mandatory. If necessary, refuel according to the size of the pipeline. If possible, do not use automatic refueling systems.

Done! You can make the first start of the air conditioner. Be sure to measure the temperature and pressure in all components of the system.


Multi-zone air conditioning systems or simply VRF air conditioners are similar in many ways to conventional split systems, but still have several key differences. Multi-zone air conditioners are technically more complicated, although they are designed on the basis of split systems.

It is for this reason that it is important to install the VRF system correctly, because with poor-quality installation, the service life of multi-zone air conditioners will definitely not meet your expectations.

When you first start the air conditioner, measure all the parameters. If the indicators are within the normal range, then the installation work is performed efficiently and professionally. With timely maintenance, the VRF system will last for many years, properly performing its functions.

Have you ever installed multi-zone air conditioning systems? Share your experience in the comments! It will be useful for many readers of our site. Good luck!

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