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There are various pieces of legislation relevant to operators of air conditioning and ventilation equipment.

1. Air Conditioning Inspections under the Energy Performance of buildings Directive

  • Air conditioning systems over 12kW must be inspected every 5 years


 2.  The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations

  • Workplaces need to be adequately ventilated.
  • Ventilation should remove and warm, humid air and provide air movement
  • Mechanical ventilation systems should be provided and regularly maintained


3.  F-Gas Regulations

Air conditioning and refrigeration systems contain refrigerant gases. Many of these gases come under the Regulations which require:

  • Regular leak testing
  • Mandatory record keeping
  • Leak detecting devices must be fitted to large installations



This is not an exhaustive list and some of the legislation is subject to other considerations. For advice on ensuring you are compliant contact Principal Cooling today on 028 8775 0111.


Air Conditioning Inspections


Over the past few years the Government has been implementing the European Energy Performance of buildings Directive. This Directive is designed to improve energy efficiency in buildings. It has several parts one of which relates to air conditioning. In Northern Ireland it is known as:

The Energy Performance of Buildings (Certificates and Inspections) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2008 – SR 2008/170, amended by SR 2008/241


  1. To provide building owners and operators information about the energy performance of their buildings and plant
  2. To identify opportunities to save energy and cut operating costs

In practice it means that there is a statutory obligation to have air conditioning systems inspected. This obligation is on the person who controls the operation of the system.

What has to be inspected?

  • All air conditioning systems installed before 01/01/08 over 12kW cooling duty must be inspected.
  • All air conditioning systems installed after 01/01/08 must be inspected within 5 years of date of installation.

The cooling output of a system could exceed 12kW where a number of individual units of less than 12kW are installed to provide cooling within the building, whether they are linked to a common control system or not.

The inspections are only for comfort cooling, not for comms rooms, data centres or for process cooling.


Lodgement of air conditioning inspection reports is mandatory.

Who can inspect

The inspections can only be done by qualified, accredited assessors. Principal Cooling are accredited by The Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE), giving you the customer assurance of professional standards, qualifications and oversight.

What are the Penalties

The Department of finance and personnel have passed the policing of the scheme to Building Control. Failure to have a report can mean fines of up to £300 per offence, recurring monthly until compliance.