The Montreal Protocol first went into effect in the 1980s as part of a consolidated, international effort to reduce and eventually phase out the production of substances contributing to ozone depletion. These protocols were instrumental in helping us to restore the integrity of the ozone layer. In that sense, this initiative has been an optimistic reminder of what we can accomplish when we band together to protect our planet.
In response to these protocols, the EU Ozone Regulation went into effect in the UK and elsewhere across the continent. Regulations to phase out harmful refrigerants like CFCs were periodically stepped up in the following ways:
- 1990s: Harmful CFCs (such as R12) were banned.
- 2004: Transitional HCFCs (such as R22) were used until the early 2000s, when they were also banned.
- 2010: Virgin HCFCs used to service and maintain refrigeration and air-conditioning (RAC) equipment were banned from late 2009.
- 2015: All HCFCs were banned for use in servicing RAC equipment.
As regulations have become increasingly strict, it has become necessary for property owners to pay greater attention to the equipment they have in place. Now that HCFCs are barred from use even in servicing old or recycled AC units, it is time to prepare for more thorough air con inspections.
THE UK Government Requires 5-Year Inspections on Air-Con Units
UK regulations require that you have your air-conditioning unit inspected every five years. For those who haven’t yet had an inspection since the new EU Ozone Regulations went into effect in 2015, there may be more to be concerned about for this round of inspections.
In addition to revealing ways in which you can operate your air-con unit more efficiently, this round of TM44 Air Con Inspections may also reveal that the unit is no longer able to be serviced or repaired – as HCFCs would be necessary to complete this process. In this case, there are a few solutions available:
- Replace the Air-Con Unit
Any air-conditioning units that still run on HCFCs are likely to be relatively old in the first place. In many cases, replacing them may end up being the most economical solution. This comes with the added benefit of ensuring a much more efficient system, which will begin paying you back in cheaper utility bills immediately.
- Convert the Air-Con Unit
It’s also possible to convert older air-conditioning units in some cases. This is highly specialised work, and you’ll need the help of the experts to determine the best solution. The team at Mitchell’s can help advise you in this department.
- Leave the Air-Con Unit as Is
This is not an environmentally conscious decision due to running costs, however, it is an option if the air con is not used frequently and you can live without if it fails.
Of course, when you consider the fact that the actual purchase price of your air con unit typically amounts to only one-fifth of its lifetime cost, it’s easy to understand why many property owners are eager to purchase a new unit and take advantage of the much better efficiency that entails.
To learn more about the current options for your air con unit, call Mitchell’s on 01452 302206 to arrange an inspection.