HVACR equipment and supply company Ferguson has entered into a partnership with Fujitsu to distribute the Airstage™ variable refrigerant flow (VRF) system in the Northeast. The partnership includes exclusive distribution in the Baltimore, Washington, and Philadelphia markets as well as distribution in New York City and New Jersey.

According to Ferguson, VRF has grown steadily in the U.S. over the last decade, and even experienced market growth throughout the recession due to its energy savings, space-savings, and zoning benefits.

“The cost of utilities in the Northeast are some of the highest in the country,” said Matt Coley, business development manager of Ferguson’s Northeast VRF division. “The efficiencies of VRF maximize equipment output, and the return on investment can be realized much sooner than traditional HVAC units due to reduction in operating costs.”

Now that post-recession construction has picked up, the VRF market continues to grow at approximately 25% each year and VRF systems are used in a larger variety of building types and applications. Tall buildings, which are especially prominent in Northeast metropolitan areas, can benefit from VRF design flexibility because of its ductless operation, the ability to use multiple units in one building, and extended piping lengths. Fujitsu Airstage™ outdoor units may be combined using twining kits to create up to 24 tons with a group of three outdoor units.

Ferguson’s team of VRF sales engineers and VRF technical support specialists work in tandem with regional Fujitsu representatives on everything from VRF system design to installation of Fujitsu Airstage. Applications include churches, medical facilities, hotels, apartment buildings, office buildings, and schools. Indoor units come in a variety of styles: wall mounted, ceiling cassette, floor/ceiling mounted, and a varied line-up of ducted units.

“Our partnership with Fujitsu, their sales engineers, and blended rep agencies creates a unified and consistent approach to our target markets by forming a ‘three-legged stool’ — with a strong manufacturer, a strong rep agency, and a strong distributor,” said Coley. “This strategy allows us to provide exceptional customer service which includes more jobsite visits, the ability to conduct more detailed training sessions, as well as perform energy modeling for large projects.”