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Did you know that you are required by law to possess a valid energy assessment report for your air conditioning system? However, organising regular energy efficiency assessments can also mean substantial savings. Read on for our top 10 facts on air conditioning inspections.

Key facts within this blog have been taken from the document; 'Improving the energy efficiency of our buildings: A guide to air-conditioning inspections for buildings', Published by the Department for Communities and Local Government, December 2012. Download the full document online at: http://www.communities.gov.uk/publications/planningandbuilding/airconditioning

  1. Building owners and managers who control air-conditioning systems have statutory obligations and duties of care in the operation and maintenance of air-conditioning systems.
     
  2. All air conditioning systems with an effective rated output of more than 12kw must be assessed by a qualified Energy Assessor at least every 5 years. This means that the vast majority of air conditioning units used in commercial offices and public buildings will be affected.
     
  3. In relation to commercial or public buildings, the landlord is responsible for ensuring there is an inspection report for the central system and the tenant is responsible for ensuring there is an inspection report for the equipment they have installed.
     
  4. Acting on the advice in the inspection report (produced after each assessment visit) and rectifying faults or making appropriate improvements may result in immediate improvements to the effectiveness of air-conditioning systems or reduce the operating costs.
     
  5. In some cases the costs of providing both heating and cooling may be reduced by adjustment of the system controls, in cases where these two systems are unnecessarily in use at the same time due to inappropriate controls or settings.
     
  6. All parts of the cooling and heating systems within air con units are assessed for efficiency compared with their ‘as new’ state, and recommendations are made as to how the system could be made to work more efficiently. Reports are likely to contain advice with a combination of measures, some of which will be low or no cost, required to apply the measures.
     
  7. Although there may be opportunities to improve the efficiency of heating and cooling systems identified by the inspection, the document suggests that by far the largest cost-savings can be made through making changes to the system controls. There could be considerable scope to identify inefficiency due to inappropriate control methods, incorrect control settings and poorly located sensors.
     
  8. Older air conditioning systems may use refrigerants which are being phased out, or having their use and supply restricted, under regulations relating to ozone depleting substances. In these cases the assessor may give advice on possible options for future system adaptation to use other refrigerants, or complete replacement.
     
  9. Local authorities (usually by their Trading Standards Officers) are responsible for enforcing the requirements relating to air-conditioning inspection reports. Failure to commission, keep or provide an air-conditioning inspection report when required by the Regulations means you may be issued with a penalty charge notice. The penalty for failing to having an air-conditioning inspection report is fixed at present at £300. A further £200 penalty can be issued for failure to provide a copy of the air conditioning inspection report when requested to an officer of an enforcement authority within seven days.
     
  10. You may be asked to present an air-conditioning inspection report should you wish to sell a building containing air-conditioning units.

To arrange air conditioning maintenance visits or an energy inspection report, contact us today for a no-obligation quote.