Air Conditioning Inspection report TM44
We provide air conditioning inspections for VRF systems, chiller units, air handling units, split and multi-split units and packaged systems.
All air-conditioning systems with an effective rated output of more than 12kw must be inspected by an Air Conditioning Inspector before 4 January 2011.
Table of Contents
- Why air-conditioning inspections are required?
- When air-conditioning inspections are required?
- What does an air-conditioning inspection cover?
- What can I expect in the report?
- Penalties for not having an air conditioning inspection report.
- Why air-conditioning inspections are required?
Having your air conditioning system inspected by an energy assessor will improve efficiency and reduce electricity consumption, operating costs and carbon emissions. Energy inspections highlight improvements and will suggest new ways to improve or replace older systems with energy efficient technology.
Due to previous legislation, the replacement of refrigerant is now restricted in older systems. So there is an additional incentive to improve or replace older systems with new energy efficient units.
Senior managers and building owners responsible for air conditioning systems must abide by statutory obligations and duties of care in their maintenance of air conditioning systems.
Air conditioning systems can account for a huge proportion of a building’s energy usage. Having regular inspectionsperformed by a qualified assessor can improve efficiency and reduce energy consumption, which can only reduce operating costs and carbon emissions.
Those who operate air conditioning systems have statutory obligations under the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) to ensure inspections are performed by qualified air-conditioning inspectors.
All air-conditioning systems with an effective rated output of more than 12kw must be regularly inspected by an energy assessor.
When air-conditioning inspections are required?
If the system has an effective rated output of 12kW or more, the first inspection must be done by 4 January 2011.
What does an air-conditioning inspection cover?
An air-conditioning inspection will examine the refrigeration and air movement equipment. It will examine all the maintenance documentation and offer a guide on how well the present systems have been maintained. All energy assessors are required to estimate whether the system is suitably sized for the cooling loads in the treated spaces, and are expected to provide advice on how the air-conditioning system can be improved.
Access will be required to all equipment situated in the plant rooms and other locations with limited provision for access. The building owner/manager should agree the means for access to the air conditioning unit with the energy assessor, following a health and safety risk assessment. The energy assessor will need to be accompanied by the respective building manager or maintenance agent at all times.
Some additional access is likely to be needed, for example, to the inside of AHUs or ducts. This must be supervised by the responsible building manager or maintenance agent on health and safety grounds. This involves the system being turned off to allow safe access, so this will have to be arranged outside of working hours to avoid disruption to business. The energy assessor may need to access a sample of components, such as fan coil units, which may be hidden above suspended ceilings. In this instance access should be provided by the building manager.
Building owners and managers should not expect the air conditioning inspection to identify hazards or unsafe aspects of the installation that should have been identified by previous arrangements. Nor should they expect the energy assessor to fix any problems identified as part of the inspection.
If owners or managers require this service they should clearly specify their demands in advance before undertaking an inspection. And they should also assure themselves that the energy assessor is competent to undertake such additional work. All terms and conditions should be ratified in advance and clearly expressed in their contract or agreement with the energy assessor.
What can I expect in the report?
The air conditioning inspection will ensure that building owners and managers are provided with basic information regarding their air conditioning systems. It will also provide advice on how the effectiveness of their systems can be improved.
Acting upon the advice in the inspection report and rectifying identified faults may result in immediate improvements to the effectiveness of air conditioning systems and possibly reduce the operating costs.
In some instances the costs of providing both heating and cooling will be reduced, especially where these two systems are unnecessarily being used due to inappropriate controls or settings. In many cases it will be clear that the building and systems are already well-documented with records clearly showing that the equipment has been maintained to a respectable standard.
If so, the energy inspection could be reduced and the inspection report kept relatively brief with the main content advising on opportunities for load reduction, or alternative solutions that hitherto not been considered. However, in other cases the energy assessor may find it necessary to suggest relatively basic maintenance, such as cleaning or repairs to neglected equipment.
Cleaning operations or adjustments to controls do not form part of the inspection procedure, even where they might be carried out to improve efficiency. The inspection is not intended, or expected, to involve any physical work of this nature, as this could change the health and safety risk to the energy assessor.
Authority to carry out such work would need to be given as part of a separate arrangement by the building owner or manager, and only if the energy assessor has the competence to do the job. However, the building owner or manager may be able to carry out some alterations themselves provided they agree with the assessor’s observations.
Most reports are likely to contain advice with a combination of low cost measures and advice on where investment may be required to implement the recommendations in the report. The manager concerned should be provided with or learn how to obtain, information about air conditioning management, especially anything that is contained in free publications such as the Carbon Trust’s Good Practice Guides.
Penalties for not having an air conditioning inspection report
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. Trading Standards Officers may act on complaints or undertake investigations. They may request you to provide them with a copy of your air-conditioning inspection report. If asked, you must provide this information within seven days of the request or be liable to a penalty charge notice for failing to do so. A copy of an air conditioning inspection report can be requested by an enforcement officer at any time up to six months after the last day for compliance with the obligation to make it available.
The penalty for failing to having an air-conditioning inspection report is fixed at present at £300.
The Air Conditioning Inspection Report aims to outline areas within the HVAC equipment operation that could improve in performance and reduce energy costs. Special attention will be paid to the introduction of any low-cost initiatives and capital investment opportunities that could arise as a result. The survey covered the inspection of air conditioning systems, performance and powers of fans, and associated cooling electrical load. By doing so it compares the performance in compliance with industry standards to identify energy savings whilst maintaining their minimum performance requirements.
Other observations made during the inspection include the condition of the air conditioning systems, maintenance regimes, cooling/building loads, fresh air volumes, air change rates and the control of ancillary units. The TM 44 inspection is largely carried out by making visual observations of the representative air conditioning equipment and other visual indicators such as refrigerant sight glasses, pressure, temperature or filter gauges. Although where these are not available the inspector may have taken some test readings.
The Air Conditioning inspection included an examination of records of design, construction and maintenance where made available. Inspectors have a duty to comply with relevant health and safety legislation. This includes a duty to draw the building owner or manager’s attention to instances of poor system maintenance or neglect, especially where these have implications for health and safety.
What is covered in air conditioning inspection report is the comparison of size and appropriateness of cooling plant against the cooling loads of the building; and the effectiveness of current maintenance regimes. All of which will enable you to optimise your buildings HVAC operations and reduce energy costs and Carbon Dioxide emissions.
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