There are numerous advantages that go hand-in-hand with installing air conditioning in an office or other commercial buildings. However, managers can’t take a ‘fit it and forget it’ approach to installing one of these rewarding systems. There are several laws that relate to the upkeep of a commercial or industrial air conditioning system, and the use of F-Gas for refrigeration, air conditioning and fire protection is just one piece of legislation of which building owners and managers must be aware. Read on to discover whether F-Gas rules apply to your building and its air conditioning system, and what steps you need to take to comply with the latest legislation.
What are F-Gases?
Like the banned R22 gas, an F-Gas is a type of fluorinated greenhouse gas that was popularly used in refrigeration equipment, including air conditioning. Since their application, however, there have been a range of negative effects recorded, with research showing that certain F-Gases are responsible for the depletion of the ozone layer. Each time an F-Gas is released into the atmosphere, ozone damage occurs, destruction that lets a greater level of UV radiation make its way to the Earth’s surface. These increased levels of radiation are resulting in a rise in cases of various health problems, including cataracts and skin cancer.
The higher temperatures caused by these levels of UV radiation also have a damaging effect on the environment. Governments across the globe have reported the production of smaller and poorer quality crop yields, which if not rectified could diminish the planet’s food supplies. The detrimental effects on people and the environment have resulted in the European Union (EU) stepping in to curb their use. There are now a number of F-Gases regulated by the EU.
Does my unit contain F-Gas?
Identifying whether your air conditioning system contains F-Gas is the first step every building owner or manager should take towards better compliance. Some F-Gases are more common than others, with HFC 404A and HFC 410A popularly used in air conditioning and heat pump systems in the UK. To discover whether your unit contains F-Gas, check the system manual that was provided during installation. The labels on the equipment itself may also indicate whether your system contains these harmful substances.
Still no luck identifying F-Gases? Liaise with the company who fitted your air conditioner for further advice.
How can I guarantee compliance?
Ensuring full compliance isn’t just about avoiding the use of equipment that contains F-Gases. Many companies will have systems installed that use some form of fluorinated gas and how these systems are maintained is a vital part of compliance. By law, only qualified air conditioning technicians can carry out inspections; repairs and maintenance work on equipment that contains F-Gases. In addition to conducting maintenance, preventing and stopping leaks are essential as this government guide describes:
“You’re responsible for stopping leaks from your equipment. Contractors that install, maintain or dispose of equipment share responsibility for trying to stop leaks with the operators of equipment. You must check all equipment for leaks. For equipment that contains F gas above certain thresholds, you must check for leaks at specific intervals.”
Make sure your air conditioning is F-Gas compliant by getting in touch with our specialist team today. We can assist with every area of compliance to ensure your air conditioning system delivers on all fronts.