If you’re responsible for a commercial building with air conditioning, then you need to be aware of the regulations that are in place to ensure these systems are safe and compliant.
As F-Gases can have a devastating greenhouse effect, it’s good to know that the most damaging of them are being phased out over the next few years, however certified contractors will still be required to regularly check F-Gas air conditioning units and therefore this scaling back has little effect on the way you should be looking after your systems. Are you aware of your obligations?
What are my obligations?
The F-Gas 2007 EC No 842/2006 regulations are primarily in existence to prevent leaks, as the gases from these units can have a devastating greenhouse effect.
Testing requirements depend on the volume of refrigeration in your system; however, as annual testing is the absolute minimum, it is a regular requirement and should be scheduled automatically.
Updates to the F-Gas regulations made this year affect the frequency with which refrigerant leak checks on all systems need to be made. It is now necessary to calculate the global warming potential of the refrigerant in a system to determine how frequently it must be leak checked and have an F-Gas certificate issued.
Each refrigerant has a different global warming potential (GWP) so the government has decided that each gas must be converted to a CO2 equivalent and then, depending on the total GWP, the leak test frequency can be calculated as follows:
3kg – 30kg: every 12 months
30kg – 300kg: 6 monthly (or every 12 months if a leak detection system is in place)
300kg + – 6 monthly (although legislation states 3 monthly, leak detection systems have now halved the required frequency and are compulsory at this level)
As a rule of thumb, the following will apply to leak testing and inspection:
Split air conditioner systems – F-Gas check once a year
Chillers / variable refrigerant flow (VRF) units – F-Gas check twice a year
NB: The above rule of thumb is a guide only, we can attend and survey your needs and advise as appropriate.
What do I need to keep record of?
Inspection records must be readily available and detailed – competent authorities can impose fines if they cannot be produced on request. Compliance with F-Gas Regulations means that systems with more than 3kg of HFC (hydrofluorocarbons)
refrigerant must have records detailing the quantity and type as well as details and dates, including any changes made to the system. The contractor carrying out these works must legally hold a handling qualification which enables them to perform tests and gas recovery as well as any maintenance – their details must be noted and kept up to date on all records.
What are the implications of non-compliance?
As with all legislation, if not adhered to, the consequences can be severe so it’s imperative that commercial landlords can display that they are complying with the law.
You have a legal responsibility to your tenants but are you sure you comply?
We can help you to keep your building compliant and the people in it happy and safe and the simplest way to ensure that your air conditioning units are legally compliant, is to put a Darenth Valley planned and preventative maintenance contract in place.
We can discuss your requirements with you and agree a maintenance schedule to cover your air conditioning units and any other maintenance requirements.
Do our Happy Building Health Check
We’ve identified 12 areas of essential maintenance for keeping commercial property compliant and created a Happy Building Health Check chart. If compliance is your responsibility download it and check that your building complies.