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Pert Air Conditioning
Pert Air Conditioning
Pert Air Conditioning

FGas Regulations

Legislation relating to Air Conditioning Systems

Current legislation relating to air conditioning systems is summarised below.

Owners/operators of air conditioning systems face serious penalties if they don’t comply with these regulations.

Being unaware of your responsibilities will not prevent the government from imposing stiff financial penalties on anyone found to be in breach of these regulations which have been introduced to improve energy efficiency and reduce damage to the environment from leaking global warming and ozone-depleting gases.

It follows that the owner/operator must bear the cost of complying with the legislation.

Refrigerant leakage checks

Owners/operators of air conditioning systems must:
  • Prevent leakage of refrigerant and repair any leaks as soon as possible.
  • Arrange proper refrigerant recovery by certified personnel during servicing and disposal.
  • Carry out leak checks to the schedule shown below.
  • Ensure that only certified competent personnel carry out leakage checks.
  • Maintain records of refrigerant usage and of servicing.
The checking frequency varies depending upon the amount of refrigerant in the system as follows:-
  • At least annually for systems with 3kg or more of refrigerant.
  • At least every 6 months for systems with 30kg or more of refrigerant.
  • At least every 3 months for systems with 300kg or more of refrigerant.
  • Leakage detection equipment must be installed on systems with 300kg or more of refrigerant and when this is in place, checking frequency requirements are halved.
  • When a leak is detected and repaired, a further check must be carried out within one month to ensure that the repair has been effective.
Operators must maintain service records including:
  • Quantity and type of refrigerant gases in the system and refrigerant added or recovered.
  • Identification of the company or technician carrying out the servicing.
  • Dates and results of leakage checks, specifically identifying separate pieces of equipment containing 30kg of refrigerant or more.
It is the operator’s responsibility to ensure that the relevant servicing personnel have obtained the necessary certification which shows they understand the regulations and are competent.


R22 refrigerant is a hydro chlorine fluoride carbon (HCFC) and is used commonly in air conditioning, chillers and industrial refrigerant plant applications.

Due to its ozone depleting properties (ODP) is no longer considered acceptable under the Montreal Protocol.

Production of R22 air conditioning equipment ceased in 2003 and the use of virgin R22 being banned from 01.01.2010.

Reclaimed R22 refrigerant can be used until 01.01.2015 but due to demand this can be very difficult to obtain and very expensive.

New refrigerants and equipment have been developed and the most popular systems operate on refrigerant R410A which has a zero ozone depleting potential and is more energy efficient than the R22 refrigerant equipment.

New systems operating on this refrigerant are up to 30% more efficient equating to less energy consumption, lower subsequent energy costs and lower CO2 emissions.

R22 equipment can be used after 01.01.2015 but replacement components will be extremely difficult to obtain and it will be illegal to top up the refrigerant circuit with new or virgin R22 refrigerant

Air Conditioning Energy Inspections

Air-conditioning systems with an effective rated cooling output of more than 12kw must be regularly inspected by an accredited Energy Assessor in order to satisfy the Energy Performance Buildings Directive (EPBD). The inspections must be a maximum of five years apart.

The regulations require the first inspection of air-conditioning systems to be carried out as follows:
  • where the effective rated cooling output is more than 250kW the first inspection must happen by 4 January 2009
  • for other air-conditioning systems, where the effective rated cooling output is more than 12kW the first inspection must happen by 4 January 2011
  • for all ‘new’ systems first put into service on or after 1 January 2008, the first inspection must have taken place within five years of the date when it was first put into service

From 4 January 2011, if the person in control of the air-conditioning system changes and the new person in control is not given an inspection report, the new person in control of the system must ensure the air-conditioning system is inspected within three months of the day that person assumes control of the 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.

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.


This Legislation is mainly intended to apply where air conditioning is provided for the comfort of occupants. It does not apply to process cooling i.e. where air conditioning is provided purely as a requirement for a manufacturing process, or for cooling electronic equipment in unmanned rooms.

ERP Legislation

Comes into force on 1st January 2013. It introduces minimum energy efficiency requirements for air conditioning systems up to 12kW.

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