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A guide to statutory air conditioning inspections

If you have air-conditioning (or comfort cooling) in your premises, you probably have your air conditioning systems serviced once or twice every year to ensure correct, trouble-free operation.

But did you know legislation exists where you also need to have the efficiency of them checked every 5 years? This is the Energy Performance of Buildings (Air Conditioning) Regulations commonly known as air conditioning inspections, or as “ACI” or “TM44” inspections.

TM44 is the accepted national guidance for judging the efficiency of air-conditioning systems. TM44 is published by the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE). The key role of the guidance is to support inspections to comply with the regulations. Any building with a system or systems that in total exceed a combined cooling capacity of more than 12kW require a suitable air conditioning inspection report.

Not only does a TM44 inspection help you avoid the £300 per offence penalty of non-compliance, it also highlights practicable solutions to improving the efficiency of your systems, and therefore reducing the running costs. Many of the recommendations are common-sense, low-cost solutions that will quickly pay for themselves.

The ACI report is lodged on the Government’s database and is valid for 5 years.

As well as keeping your business compliant with the legislation, the report can prove to be a good value opportunity to possibly rethink how you run your systems and save energy at a time where energy costs are spiralling.

Contact MEP and one of our qualified and experienced Air-conditioning Assessors will be able to help you.
For full guidance see A guide to air conditioning inspections in buildings and TM44: Inspection of Air Conditioning Systems | CIBSE.

F-Gas Regulations

The TM44 report also mentions the legislation surrounding F-gas leakage testing and the use of phased out refrigerants such as R22.

Fluorinated greenhouse gases (F-gases) are powerful greenhouse gases, with environmental impacts many times greater than that of carbon dioxide. F-gases replaced ozone depleting substances, which are now entirely banned except in very limited circumstances. The most common types of F-gases are hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which are often used as the refrigerant in air conditioning systems.

A phase-down of HFC use was introduced by the Kigali Amendment to the United Nations Montreal Protocol in 2016. The Amendment requires an 85% reduction in HFC use by 2036. The EU and UK meet their Kigali obligations through the EU F-gas Regulation 517/2014. After the end of the EU Exit Transition Period, the F-gas Regulation and its supplemental legislation will be retained in domestic law as it applies to Great Britain, with Northern Ireland remaining within, and subject to, the EU’s F-gas system and legislation.

Alongside provisions for the reduction in HFC use, the F-gas Regulation sets out a framework of obligations to minimise the risk of emissions. This includes maintenance, regular leak checking and repair requirements for equipment containing F-gases, such as air conditioning systems, as well as training and certification requirements for technicians and companies that work on them. Further information on F-gas obligations can be found on the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) website. Record F gas in equipment you own or service.

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