For those even somewhat familiar with air conditioning options until now, the choice was roughly divided into two: Either buy separate air-conditioners for every room, or invest in a central unit.

Central units are definitely quieter, more aesthetic-looking, more effective, they spread the air more evenly, and allow you the option of modern-looking vents and sheetrock cover ducts. At the same time, they also often involve lowering the hallway ceiling as well as large areas of the home to accommodate duct work.

The huge benefit of installing separate units for each part of the house is the option of different settings for each room, shutting off the unit altogether in rooms that are not in use, and catering to the different needs of the users in every part of the house or building. But let’s be honest; they are ugly-looking, and not always very effective. Sometimes, users feel like all they do is force them to choose between waking up sweaty, or with a stuffed nose…

A few years ago, inverter units shifted the balance somewhat by offering a more modifiable system whereas ducts could be closed in rooms that are not in use, while the unit automatically adjusts the speed of the compressor to control the refrigerant (gas) flow rate, thereby consuming less current and power. In other words – modifiable, and cheaper to run.

But the real game-changer is the VRF.

No longer about allowing users to modify “somewhat” or save “some” energy, the VRF allows full customization and separate settings for every room – just like separate units offer. The VRF, however, is a single system with all the benefits of central air-conditioning. At the same time it also kidnaps the advantages of the separate units, so that it truly offers the best – and only the best – of both worlds.

No more dropped ceilings necessary, either. The VRF comes with sleek, modern vents that blend in with latest décor. It is efficient and uses far less energy. Most importantly, it allows you to keep your kitchen cool and your bedroom toasty while turning it off in the dining room altogether, all using a single system and a magic word: VRF.

This seemingly small change is far more than a gimmick. It truly is a game-changer, and as such, despite the initial higher cost of installation, we predict it to be the next big hit among A/C shoppers in coming years.