What is an air-conditioning system under the regulations?
An air-conditioning system refers to any system where refrigeration is used to provide cooling for the comfort of occupants. This would exclude separate refrigeration provided solely for process applications such as cold stores, pharmaceutical production, IT server rooms, etc.
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.
All systems with an effective rated output of 12W or more must be inspected.
What is the effective rated output and where can I find the effective rated output for my system?
The effective rated output is the maximum calorific output in kW stated by the manufacturer of the system as deliverable during continuous operation, while complying with the useful efficiency indicated by the manufacturer. If you are unsure of the effective rated output of your system, you may find this in your operations manual or servicing log. You may also ask the manufacturer for guidance.
When do I have to have my air-conditioning system inspected by?
If your system was installed before 30 December 2008 and has an effective rated output of 12kW or more, the first inspection is now due and should be carried out as soon as possible to comply with regulations.
If you system was installed on or after 30 December 2008 and has an effective rated output of 12kW or more, the first inspection must be carried out within five years of installation.
Thereafter, the system must be inspected at intervals not exceeding five years.
The relevant person must arrange for the system to be inspected and hold the report - who is the relevant person?
With regard to the inspection of air-conditioning systems, the relevant person is defined as the person who controls the technical functioning and operation of the system. This is not just someone who can adjust the temperature.
The owner of a system will usually control the operation of the system even where day to day operation is contracted out to another. Where a tenant takes total responsibility for a building and its services, then the tenant will usually control the system.
What benefit is the air-conditioning inspection to me?
Following inspection, the accredited inspector has to give you an inspection report that will include an assessment of the air-conditioning efficiency and sizing of your system compared to the cooling requirements of the building. The inspection report will also give appropriate advice on possible improvements to the system, replacement of the system and alternative solutions.
Do I have to implement the recommendations given in the inspection report?
No, but if you do so you may be able to substantially reduce your energy bills.
Who can inspect my air-conditioning system?
The inspector must be an approved energy inspector who is a member of an accreditation scheme approved by the Department.
How do I find an accredited inspector?
To find an accredited inspector visit the Energy Assessors and Accreditation Schemes page where you will find external links to the approved accreditation schemes that list the accredited inspectors for air conditioning.
What happens if I don't get my air-conditioning system inspected?
We have tried to encourage compliance with the regulations but if someone persists in flouting the requirements the enforcement body has the powers to issue a penalty charge notice which will result in a hefty fine. Where a breach of the regulations is ongoing, more than one penalty charge notice may be issued so the penalty would be cumulative.