TM44 guidelines on air conditioning inspections can help you avoid a fine of £300.
Regular servicing is essential for cost-effective maintenance, but under the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive landlords must also arrange inspections by an accredited energy assessor every five years.
TM44 was produced in response to this legal requirement and full guidance on assessments is provided by the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers through TM44: Inspection of Air Conditioning Systems.
Building owner responsibilities
In most cases a system must be inspected at least every five years, with responsibility to arrange it falling to the person with control over the technical functions (not just someone who controls the temperature). This is typically a building owner or manager. Although the recommendations themselves are not legally binding, they could save you money.
What to expect
Energy efficiency is the main focus of the report and the assessor will look at documentation as well as equipment. It may be necessary to turn off the system so they can access ducts and small components.
If equipment has been serviced regularly the scope of the inspection can be reduced, as it will be clear to the assessor the system is well understood and maintained. In any case, the inspection report will include details of:
- the system’s efficiency;
- faults and suggested actions;
- equipment maintenance levels;
- controls and settings;
- the size of the installed system in relation to the cooling load;
- key recommendations and suggestions for improvement in each area.
While the assessment itself is a legal requirement, there is no obligation to act on the recommendations of the report. However, since the efficiency of the system is the primary focus, the improvements can lead to significant savings.
This is particularly the case where inappropriate settings are identified, for example if heating and cooling systems are unnecessarily operating simultaneously.
A fixed penalty of £300 is applicable if you do not have an up-to-date air conditioning inspection report. Assessors lodge reports on a central register, but it is important to keep your own copies safe as local authorities can issue a further penalty of £200 if they request a copy and it is not provided within seven days.
All 361 Degrees air conditioning systems come with detailed documentation, which facilitates a smooth and effective inspection and keeps the cost of TM44 assessments down. Our regular maintenance contracts ensure equipment runs efficiently, reducing the need for repairs in the wake of reports and improving hygiene levels.
Warren Foskett, service and maintenance engineer for 361 Degrees, explains why you shouldn’t wait for an inspection to bring in a professional: “The process of servicing an air conditioning unit needs to be carefully followed, ensuring each part is cleaned correctly. If you rush it you can miss dust and residue, which affects the clean circulation of the air. This can cause inefficiencies to the ventilation system and cause serious health problems to the occupants.”