As the warmer weather sets in you might find your air con being used more often at work – or even at home. But, did you know, the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive states that as from January 2011 all air conditioning systems of 12kW and above are obligated to undergo regular inspection; this means a regular inspection programme must be in place. You might already be aware of this, but you’d likely be surprised at how many people aren’t!

Air con inspections are carried out for several reasons, including improving efficiency, reducing energy consumption, reducing operating costs, and reducing carbon emissions. These inspections must be carried out by a professional person, and their job will include advising how systems can be improved or even replaced, age dependent. It will often be recommended that older systems are replaced with upgraded more modern versions, as the replacement of refrigerant is restricted in these older systems under legislation.

“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.”

There are regulations regarding when an inspection must take place. Any system installed either on or after 1st January 2008 must have had its first inspection within the first five years of being installed. For other systems that have an effective rated output of more than 250kW then the first inspection must have been carried out by 4th January 2009, and for systems where the effective rated output exceeds 12kW, the first inspection must have taken place by 4th January 2011.

What Happens After an Inspection?
After an inspection, the owner of the system will be given a report which will include various information and recommendations regarding their air con unit. These will include the efficiency of the system, any faults identified as part of the inspection, the adequacy of equipment maintenance and installed controls, any suggested improvements, and a summary of the findings and key recommendations.

The person who controls the operation of the air con system is always the person responsible for the inspections. They must ensure that an inspection has been carried out in accordance with relevant regulations and timescales, ensure the most recent inspection report is readily available, and ensure they provide this report to any person(s) who may be taking over control of the system.