Any business with an air conditioning system must meet the standards set out by the Energy Performance of Buildings Regulations. The legislation has been put in place to help anyone who manages or controls an AC system to understand and fulfil their responsibilities.
Inspections by an accredited air conditioning energy assessor are required to ensure the system is operating effectively. The regulations are designed to improve efficiency and reduce energy consumption, operating costs and carbon emissions – this ensures it benefits not only the individual business, but also the environment.
The energy assessor highlights potential improvements to the operation of the existing system, or suggests replacing older, less efficient systems with a new one where applicable.
The person who manages the system, whether it’s the company owner, or the building owner, must take their obligations and duty of care very seriously when it comes to maintaining the AC unit. They must provide a healthy environment for the building’s occupants, while reducing the escape of refrigerant gases and making sure the equipment is safe.
Over time, the wear and tear of everyday use can put a strain on your AC unit. Without the appropriate maintenance, components may start to break down and not function at full efficiency. This can damage the way the AC system works.
Apart from causing it to be less environmentally-friendly, it can also cost you more in the long run, should it break down. It’s far better to keep the AC unit in good shape, rather than risking a complete breakdown, which may necessitate a whole new system.
An inspection normally includes checking the motor, drain line, blower, coils, return and supply lines, operating pressures and temperatures, refrigerant levels, connections and air ducts. Maintain the overall health of your workforce by ensuring your AC system isn’t spreading contaminated air because it’s not working correctly.
Once the air conditioning system has been inspected and any faults rectified, keep it properly maintained on a regular basis to ensure unobstructed airflow through the ducts into the interior of your premises. This will leave your employees working in a comfortable temperature, with clean, fresh air at all times.
Penalty for non-compliance
There are stiff penalties for not having regular air conditioning inspections carried out. The local authority (usually through its Trading Standards department) is responsible for enforcing the regulations when it comes to AC reports.
Failure to commission an inspection and provide a report when requested can result in a penalty charge notice being issued to the person in breach of the rules. Trading Standards officers can undertake an investigation and request a copy of the inspection report within seven days from the manager or the building’s owner.
Failure to comply can result in a financial penalty, as the person in charge of the AC system is obligated to make the inspection report available. Failing to provide the report when asked will incur a fixed penalty of £300. Individual occupants of the building are not liable in any way for a breach of the AC rules. It is solely the responsibility of the manager or the building’s owner.
If the AC inspection report is still not provided to an officer of the enforcement authority, then a further fixed penalty of £200 can be applied. It’s preferable to keep up-to-date with the inspections, not only to keep your system in working order, but also to avoid fines, should you fail to comply.
Klima-Therm can help you choose the right air conditioning units for your business. For more details, please contact us for a no-obligation chat with our knowledgeable team.