Any building that houses an air conditioning system which has an individual or combined output of over 12kW is required by law to have an up-to-date air conditioning inspection certificate.

These certificates must be renewed after a period of no more than five years from the date of previous certification.

The purpose of inspections is to highlight areas where there is potential for improved efficiencies within the system. A commercial energy assessor will identify any opportunities to lower carbon emissions from the system. They will also see if operating costs can be reduced by the air conditioning units having lower overall energy consumption requirements.

Part of the advice provided during an inspection will be to assess whether systems may be too old or are possibly oversized, both of which could likely indicate issues with regard to poor energy efficiency. Furthermore, there are restrictions placed on the replacement of refrigerant in older systems and just this alone can provide incentive to improve or replace old units.

As well as the air conditioning inspection, ongoing maintenance is required by the person who is in charge of building operations and systems. There is a constant duty of care to ensure that required maintenance and cleaning programmes are in place to allow the system to operate as normal.

N.B. It is important that systems be properly maintained to provide a healthy environment for the building’s occupants.

There are some limitations to having a ‘TM44’ air conditioning inspection certificate that should be observed. As it is not the purpose of the inspection to act as a catch-all for every aspect of the system’s safe operation. The building manager or owner should have their own provisions in place to identify and remedy any hazards that may be in existence. This could be as a result of unsafe aspects of the initial installation, or due to issues that may have arisen thereafter.

Things covered as part of the inspection will include:

  • The current perceived efficiency of the system and any possible options for improvement
  • Faults that were identified, with possible solution options
  • A note of the cooling load of the building in relation to the size of the current system
  • Whether the controls and settings currently in use are deemed adequate, with suggestions for improvements, if required
  • Comment as to whether the equipment maintenance regimes are adequate
  • An overall list of the findings with any key recommendations highlighted

Once the certificate has been obtained it is advisable to keep it in a safe, yet readily available, place as part of the building’s log book. Such a file may contain other helpful documents relating to the building, such as: details of other periodic inspections that take place, or possibly a commercial EPC (energy performance certificate), where one has been produced.

Elmhurst Approved Energy Assessor1
Sterling Accreditation
Institute of Domestic Energy Assessors
Chase Inventory Services