About Air Conditioning Inspections

Why are air conditioning inspections are required?

An air conditioning system inspection by an accredited air conditioning energy assessor (the energy assessor) is designed to improve efficiency, reduce energy consumption, reduce operating costs and reduce carbon emissions. The energy assessor will highlight how the operation of existing systems can be improved or opportunities to replace older, less energy efficient systems, or oversized systems, with new energy efficient systems. As the replacement of refrigerant is restricted in older systems (as established in other legislation), there is an additional incentive to improve or replace older systems with more modern energy efficient units.

The person who controls the operation of the system, such as the building owner or manager, has statutory obligations and duties of care related to the operation and maintenance of air conditioning systems. The inspections referred to in this guide are in addition to the standard activities associated with the ownership and operation of air conditioning systems.

Inspection, maintenance and cleaning programmes maintain the ability of the system to provide healthy and comfortable environments for building occupants, limiting the escape of refrigerant gases and ensuring the safety of equipment. The practices and procedures needed to achieve these aims should be applied more frequently than the assessment for energy efficiency described here. It is outside the scope of this document to describe these procedures in detail.

When air conditioning inspections are required?

All air conditioning systems with an effective rated output of more than 12kW must be regularly inspected by an energy assessor. The inspections must be no more than five years apart.

The regulations require the first inspection of air conditioning systems in scope to be carried out as follows:

• for all systems first put into service on or after 1 January 2008, the first inspection must have taken place within five years of the date when the system was first put into service
• for other air conditioning systems, where the effective rated output is more than 250kW, the first inspection must have taken place by 4 January 2009
• for other air conditioning systems, where the effective rated output is more than 12kW, the first inspection must have taken place by 4 January 2011

Which systems require an air conditioning inspection?

Only air conditioning systems with an effective rated output of more than 12kW are affected by these regulations. This will include systems consisting of individual units which are less than 12kW, but whose combined effective rated output is more than 12kW.

The effective rated output is the maximum calorific output in kW stated by the manufacturer of the system as delivered during continuous operation while complying with the useful efficiency indicated by the manufacturer.


Who is responsible for ensuring an inspection is completed?

The person who controls the operation of an air conditioning system must:

• ensure an inspection has been done in accordance with the requirements and timetable of the regulations
• keep the most recent air conditioning inspection report provided by an energy assessor
• give any air conditioning inspection report to any person taking over responsibilities with respect to the control of the air conditioning system

If the control of an air conditioning system is passed to another person and that person has not been given an air conditioning inspection report by the previous operator of the system, the system must be inspected within three months of the new operator taking over control of the system.

What advice can I expect to receive from the air conditioning inspection and report?

The air conditioning inspection report will include at least the following details:

• the likely efficiency of the system and any suggestions for improvement
• any faults identified during the inspection and suggested actions
• the adequacy of equipment maintenance and any suggestions for improvement
• the adequacy of the installed controls and control settings and any suggestions for improvement
• the current size of the installed system in relation to the cooling load and any suggestions for improvement
• consideration of the capabilities of the system to optimise its performance under typical operating conditions
• a summary of the findings and the key recommendations

There is no legal requirement to act on the recommendations. However, acting on the advice and key recommendations in the air conditioning inspection report and rectifying faults, or making the appropriate improvements, where this is attractive and cost effective, will contribute to the efficient running of air conditioning systems. It will also reduce carbon emissions and the operating costs for the building occupants


Penalties for not having an air conditioning inspection report

The penalty for failing to have an air conditioning inspection report is fixed in the regulations and is currently £300.
Occupiers of a building, where a central air conditioning system is under the control of the building owner or manager, would not be liable for a penalty charge for any breach of the duties.

A further penalty can be issued for failure to provide a Trading Standards Officer with a copy of the air conditioning inspection report within seven days when requested to do so. The penalty is fixed at £200.

What Next?

If you require a DEC assessment then you will need a qualified DEC Assessor to produce A legally valid Display Energy Certificate (DEC). They will use a government approved OR Calc Software (Operational Rating Software). A DEC Assessor can then upload the survey data to the Non Domestic Central Register.

SEARCH FOR A DEC ASSESSOR >

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Related Links

SEE GOVERNMENT GUIDANCE >

SEARCH FOR ASSESSOR > 

If you need help get in touch!

Fill out our short contact form below if you would like to find out more about the information displayed on this page

 
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