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Air Conditioning Inspections – A Brief Guide to what it all means

You may have heard of “Air Conditioning System Inspections” and wondered what it is all about and whether it applies to you. This article offers an informative insight to the process and what it is all about when it comes to the inspection of air conditioning for your business premises.

Air conditioning systems can contribute greatly to the energy consumption of a building and have therefore been targeted as a potential way of reducing electricity consumption, operating costs and carbon emissions.

Under the Energy Performance of Building (Certificates and Inspection) (England and Wales) Regulations all air-conditioning systems with an effective rated output of more than 12kw must be regularly inspected by an accredited Energy Assessor.  These inspections must be a maximum of five years apart.

For air-conditioning systems with an effective rated output of greater than 250kW, the first inspection should have taken place by 4th January 2009

For air-conditioning systems with an effective rated output of greater than 12kW, the first inspection should have taken place by 4th January 2011.

For all systems first put into service on or after 1st January 2008, the first inspection must have taken place within five years of the date when it was first put into service.

We would stress that only air-conditioning systems with an effective rated output of more than 12kW are affected by these regulations.  For clarification the effective rated output is the maximum calorific output in kW stated by the manufacturer for the system as deliverable during continuous operation while complying with the useful efficiency indicated by the manufacturer.

One or more air-conditioning units within a building controlled by a single person are considered to comprise a single air-conditioning system for the purposes of the regulations, therefore, if you have 3 individual 5kW machines this will require an air conditioning inspection as the combined total is above the 12kW limit.

For the purposes of the regulations, a building is defined as “a roofed construction having walls, for which energy is used to condition the indoor climate, and a reference to a building includes a reference to a part of a building which has been designed or altered to be used separately”.

An air-conditioning system refers to any system where refrigeration is used to provide cooling for the comfort of occupants, however, this would exclude separate refrigeration or chillers provided solely for process applications such as cold stores, pharmaceutical production chilled water for production processes etc.

Crucially, getting your air conditioning systems checked and serviced regularly is critical to make sure that they potentially operate at their best efficiency and will last for the longest possible time, but these inspections also make sure that the systems are suitable for the current application and are being used in the best possible way.  If there are any ways to improve efficiency and reduce running costs the Assessor will make recommendation within the report.

 

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