Air conditioning units use fluorinated greenhouse gases, or F gases. The EU regulates the use of these gases in stationary air conditioning systems. The regulations state that people who work with F gases must hold appropriate certifications.
There is a range of different certification bodies that operate in the UK. The company must have certification as well as the employees who work with F gases.
Why are these regulations in place?
The regulations are in place to control F gases and make sure they don’t become dangerous. This is because F gases could damage the ozone layer if they leak into the atmosphere. However, F gases are safe if they are properly contained. The regulations make sure that handlers store F gases properly and don’t let them leak.
Regulations on installation
All air conditioning installers must hold F gas certification. It’s illegal to install F gas air conditioning without holding an F gas certification.
To comply with regulations, both the company and its employees must have certification. A company’s certification must cover all the activities they carry out. There are different certifications that cover maintenance, installation and leakage checking. There are different bodies which offer certification. Refcom, Bureau Veritas and the F Gas Register offer Government approved certification.
Companies that have certification must make sure their employees have F gas training. A range of organisations provide training, but the qualifications themselves are the same. These qualifications are City and Guilds 2079 and the Construction Industry Training Board J01.
If you’re looking for an air conditioning installer, choose one with F gas certification. This will give you peace of mind that their work helps to preserve the environment.
Regulations after installation
Regulations also apply to air conditioning units after installation. This means that air conditioning unit users are responsible for them. Their responsibilities cover:
- Taking reasonable steps to prevent F gas from leaking
- Performing regular leakage checks on the units. The frequency of these checks varies depending on the size of the unit
- Keeping and maintaining records of the amount and type of F gas installed in the unit
- Recovering F gas at the end of the lifecycle of the unit
- Making sure the unit is correctly labelled so that service work can be safely carried out
The easiest way to meet these obligations is to have a maintenance agreement with your installer. This means that they will come back and service the unit. As well as helping to meet F gas regulations, regular servicing will keep it running efficiently for longer.
For more information on F gas regulations, see the Government’s website.