Thursday, 25 October 2012

Air Conditioning Inspections Part 3: What do they cover?

Often property owners will expect more from an air conditioning inspection than the service actually provides. Thus it is wise for owners to be aware of the actual extent of what an inspection will cover; to prevent a false sense of security.

What will an air-conditioning inspection not cover?
It is important to note that it is not within the sphere of an air conditioning inspection to identify hazards associated with the air conditioning supply and systems, nor will an inspection pinpoint dangerous installation, operation or maintenance procedures regarding the air conditioning. A further and separate inspection by an air conditioning installation & maintenance expert, such as those at BPM Maintenance, would be necessary to ensure such dangers are not present or that they can be fixed in the case that they are.

What will an air-conditioning inspection cover?
The inspector will review documentation associated with the air conditioning system used to judge how well the system is maintained or the extent to which the manager of the system has information regarding its use. Additionally the inspection will cover the controls, the refrigeration and air movement equipment, with a goal to assess energy usage. The inspector may offer advice on how the performance of the air conditioning system could be improved.

What must the air-conditioning inspector have access to?
  • Refrigeration & air movement equipment; which is likely located either in a plant room, on a rooftop or an exterior location with limited access.
  • The air handling unit (AHU) and various ducts associated with the air-conditioning system.
  • Fan coil units which are often concealed with suspended ceilings.
The inspector will have to be accompanied by the building manager or maintenance staff, and health & safety checks must be made in areas that have limited access.

BPM Maintenance is a property maintenance company located in Bath that offers air conditioning installation and maintenance, as well as roofing, plumbing, electrical and many other services.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Air Conditioning & F Gas Inspections Part 2

When is an Energy Performance Certificate required?
  • Whenever a building is let, sold or constructed.
When is a Display Energy Certificate (DEC) required?
  • For public buildings that cover an area greater than 1000m squared.
  • And that the building is either:
    • Actually visited by members of the public.
    • Or used by a public authority or public institution that services a large number of people.
The other type of inspection that is required for air conditioning systems in addition to general air conditioning inspections is a F Gas inspection.

F Gas refers to fluorinated greenhouse gases that EU directives following the Kyoto Protocol are committed to monitoring. F gases include Hydrofluorocarbons, Perfluorocarbons and Sulphur Hexafluoride. Hydrofluorocarbons or HFCs are what you will have to worry about as an owner of an air conditioning system as these are commonly used as a refrigerant. The gases are known to be far stronger contributors to global warming than carbon dioxide, so minimising their release is crucial to preventing anthropogenic climate change.

The EC Regulation 842/2006 states that leakage checks are to be carried out, that repairs must be completed to any faults found and that any F Gas that may have been released by these faults in the air conditioning system must be collected.

F Gas inspections follow a different timetable to general air conditioning inspections, which are only required once every five years.

The F Gas inspection timetable is as follows:
  • The inspection must be performed at least once every twelve months for all air conditioning systems containing 3kg or more F gases.
  • For air conditioning systems containing 30kg or more of F gases, an inspection must be carried out at least once every six months.
  • Those air conditioning systems that contain 300kg or more of F gases must be inspected at least once every three months.
  • Any air conditioning system that has had a leakage repaired must undergo another inspection no more than one month after the repair to ensure that it was sufficient to contain the problem.
BPM Maintenance are a property maintenance company based in Bath that offer air conditioning Bath and air conditioning installation Bath.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Air Conditioning Inspections

Why should I have my air conditioning system inspected?
  • An Energy Assessor will offer a range of advice to improve the efficiency, electricity consumption, operating costs and carbon emissions of your air conditioning set-up.
  • If you have an older type of air conditioning, an inspection could highlight potential problems that could be avoided by acquiring a replacement. Older air conditioning models suffer from refrigerant restrictions that have been formed in recent legislation.
  • Other legislation and red tape gives a bevy of obligations place on the shoulders of building managers and owners with regards to their air conditioning. Not every owner of a property has the time or inclination to keep up with new legislation, but energy inspections of the operation and maintenance of air conditioning systems are now required.
  • An air conditioning inspection can reveal refrigerant escape which may cause harm to denizens of the building.
When should I have my air conditioning system inspected?
  • By law, all your air conditioning systems with an output of more than 12 kilowatts must be inspected by an air conditioning energy assessor in cycles no more than five years apart.
  • If your air conditioning system was installed on the 1st of January 2008 or later, the first inspection must take place within 5 years of the installation date.
  • If the rated output of your air conditioning system is 250 kilowatts or more, the first inspection must be within 1 year.
  • If the control of the air conditioning system changes hands and the new manager was unlucky enough not to receive an air conditioning inspection report, then he must contract an energy assessor to inspect the air conditioning system within 3 months.
BPM Maintenance are a property maintenance company based in Bath that offer air conditioning Bath and air conditioning installation Bath.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Yet Another Rogue Plumber Caught By HSE

Consumers should always be vigilant against rogue and illegal tradesman making false claims about their accreditations and skills.

Salisbury Crown Court heard last Friday (28 September) that the Wiltshire plumber Simon Dale who traded under the company name Cathedral Plumbing Services and previously Wiltshire Plumbing & Heating Ltd, had carried out gas work on 13 properties in Wiltshire that he was not qualified or registered to do.

This kind of practice puts selfish greed above the safety of his clients, whilst working in a field that can have very deadly consequences for shoddy work.

Although Dale was registered as a plumber under the CORGI scheme, he was not qualified as a gas engineer. Despite this he made verbal claims that he was qualified to carry out the gas work and used official logos on his paperwork and van that he did not have the right to use.

On one particular job he also claimed to be Part P proficient and able to carry out electrical work.

Illegal gas work is very often of poor quality with the resulting installations carrying high risk of explosions or carbon monoxide leaks. Carbon monoxide cannot be smelt, tasted or seen yet a percentage of just over 1% in the air can cause unconsciousness in a few breaths and death in a few minutes.

The plumber pleaded guilty to six offences under the Health and Safety at Work Act and ten offences of fraud by misrepresentation, breaching the Fraud Act 2006 as well as three breaches of the Unfair Trading regulations 2008 for unfair commercial practice.

This list of crimes landed Dale 30 months of prison, including consecutive prison sentences rather than concurrent as two of the cases of fraud were committed whilst he was on bail for the other offences.

If you live in the Bath area of the UK and need a Bath gas engineer, Bath plumber or Bath electrician you can trust, then BPM Maintenance is here to help. Our tradesmen are fully registered and accredited with their various organisations and are happy to prove that to you to ensure your safety and peace of mind are preserved.