An air conditioning inspection is a legal requirement for all buildings with 12kW or more of cooling. So any commercial, public or domestic building with total cooling of 12kW or more must have an air conditioning inspection every five years. For example, an office building with four split systems each providing 3.5kW of cooling will have a total of 14.0kW. Therefore, the owner of the air conditioning equipment installed at this building is legally required to have the air conditioning inspected every five years. The current fine for non-compliance is £300 for each building or space and repeat fines are at the discretion of Trading Standards. In multi-tenanted buildings, such as shopping centres, each unit with it’s own separately controlled air conditioning system with more than 12kW of cooling requires an air conditioning inspection.
Air conditioning inspections entail inspecting the outdoor and indoor air conditioning equipment installed at a building. This includes split packaged systems, variable refrigerant volume (VRV) / variable refrigerant flow (VRF) systems, chillers, air handling units, heat rejection plant, cooling towers, fan coil units and system controls. Buildings with split, multi-split or VRV systems will usually require a Level 3 inspection. Whereas buildings with some sort of air handling will require a Level 4 inspection. The air conditioning assessor will be looking at the state of the equipment, commenting on the standard of maintenance and how the system is set up to be operated. Does the system have the facility to set daily on/off periods, local temperature control and energy metering and monitoring for example. The assessor will calculate whether there is too much or not enough cooling serving an area as this may mean there is too much energy being used to condition the space, especially if there is no control over the capacity being provided by the outdoor unit or chiller.
The air conditioning assessor will also look at the frequency of maintenance visits, documentation regarding any F-Gas inspections and leak testing and advise if this documentation is inadequate or not available on site.
The report is intended to provide a general overview of the air conditioning system and advise of any recommendations that could be investigated further, possibly with expert help, to increase energy efficiency. The air conditioning certificate and report are lodged on the Landmark database.