Energy assesment of air conditioning systems

What is required?

By 4 January 2009 all air conditioning systems over 250kW must have had their first inspection, and by 4th January 2011 all air conditioning systems over 12kW must have their first inspection. Systems must be inspected at least every five years thereafter.

Why are air-conditioning inspections being carried out?

The primary aim of the inspections is to give building owners and operators the performance of their buildings and plant, and to identify opportunities to save energy and cut operating costs. Inspectors have a duty to comply with health and safety legislation. This includes a duty to report to building owners or managers where inadequate maintenance might have implications for the health and safety of the building occupants and the public. The responsibility for getting systems inspected may rest with the building owner, the building tenant or, in some cases, both parties.

What is covered by the air-conditioning inspection?

The inspection is carried out in line with CIBSE (Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers) Guidelines TM44. The inspection covers refrigeration equipment, air movement systems and their controls. The inspector is required to assess whether the system is suitably sized for the loads in the treated spaces. It is likely that access will be required to AHUs and elements such as fan-coil units which may be above ceilings. It may only be necessary to inspect a sample of components. In addition to the physical inspection of equipment, evidence is sought of any existing Planned maintenance schedule or of other recent maintenance activities. Where good maintenance regimes are in place the air-conditioning inspection will be minimal.

What does the inspector produce?

An air conditioning inspection report is produced which gives some basic information on the air-conditioning system. The report gives a likely indication of the system efficiency together with some initial advice on how energy efficiency or effectiveness might be improved. Where good maintenance practice is employed it is likely that both the inspection and the report will be brief.




Who can complete the air conditioning inspection?

The inspector must be registered as a competent person under one of the National Occupation Standard schemes.

What if I don't have an air-conditioning inspection report?

The air-conditioning inspection regime will be enforced via trading standards. The trading standards officers have the powers to fine building owners who are not in possession of a report or who have not made reasonable efforts to commission a report. It is unclear how effective this enforcement will be but it is likely that the system will be enforced through the conveyancing process for lettings and sales of developments.

What will an air-conditioning inspection cost?

The cost will vary depending on the complexity of the systems, the size of the building, the level of information available pre-inspection and the extent of maintenance programmes already in place. Cost are likely to vary from £500 to £5000.

Where can I find out more?

The document 'A guide to air conditioning inspections for buildings' is available to download from:

Alternatively contact CBAC Services Ltd who can offer advice on inspections and good maintenance practice and have directly employed fully qualified assessors available.

  • 24 hour Emergency Calls
  • Building Services
  • Air Conditioning
  • Installation
  • Service & Maintenance


"Supporting the facilities industry since 1990"