New legislation dictates that all buildings with air conditioning systems and HVAC solutions must meet a number of requirements. In this blog post, we provide an essential guide to increasing compliance levels across each of the four pieces of legislation affecting HVAC systems in the UK. This leaves you and your workers to enjoy all the benefits of a cool, more comfortable work environment.
Fluorinated greenhouse gases (F-Gases) are common across a wide range of refrigeration products, including air conditioners, heat pumps and refrigerators, and without the right management can escape into the atmosphere causing significant environmental damage.
Introduced by the EU back in 2014, replacing the 2006 regulations, F-Gas requirements not only affect those who manufacture, wholesale, import or export F-Gases, but also directly impact users of equipment containing F-Gas. For commercial and industrial buildings housing refrigeration systems, F-Gas compliance is essential.
Under F-Gas legislation, companies who use or service refrigeration products containing F-Gas must meet a variety of record keeping and maintenance requirements. You can check if your system contains F-Gas by reading this government guidance.
Energy Performance Certificate
All commercial properties consisting of 500msq of habitable space or more must hold an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) by law. To obtain an EPC, the air conditioning systems within must meet a list of requirements as set out by the Energy Performance of Building Regulations.
Holding an EPC applies in all scenarios, including if you wish to sell or let your commercial property, or make additional alterations to your HVAC systems.
As part of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD), all air conditioners with an output of more than 12kW must be inspected to confirm their continued efficiency. Known as the TM44 regulation, every building owner and manager has a responsibility to ensure inspection takes place and recommended improvements are made. But why is TM44 compliance so essential? This excerpt from an article by Comply Direct explains:
“By having your Air-Conditioning system inspected by an accredited air conditioning energy assessor, it is likely that you will be able to improve efficiency, reduce energy consumption, operating costs and the carbon emissions of the system. After the assessment, the energy assessor will be able to make recommendations for improvement to the existing systems or opportunities to replace older, less energy efficient systems or oversized systems with new energy efficient systems.”
TM44 compliance isn’t the only reason for air conditioning inspections and maintenance. Your air conditioning system should be kept in tip top condition all year round, winter air conditioning system maintenance is also essential, to ensure optimum performance.
As of January 2015, it is against the law to use R22 refrigerant during the maintenance or repair of your air conditioning system. R22 refrigerant contains hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC), a harmful, ozone depleting substance.
The road to phasing R22 refrigerants out began back in 2004 when the EU outlawed the use of R22 in new air conditioning products. In 2010, the use of Virgin R22 in the maintenance and repair of systems was also made illegal. It is now illegal to use even recycled or reclaimed R22 during the maintenance and repair process.
So much more than compliance
As leading providers of air conditioning, heating and ventilation services, we make it our mission to ensure all our clients are fully compliant with the most up-to-date rules and regulations. The world of building regulations can be a confusing but our experts will assist you at every stage to ensure all your business critical facilities are up to scratch.
Full compliance isn’t just about operating and maintaining your systems in accordance with the law. Compliant systems mean a happier and healthier work environment as well as lower energy bills. To request a free compliance survey please call 01992 478 100 today.