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F gases are fluorinated gases that include HCFCs, HFCs and CFCs used in refrigerated applications and equipment, including air conditioning. Certain F gases have been proven to deplete the ozone layer, whilst others directly contribute to greenhouse gases associated with global warming. EU legislation has been put into place in order to limit the use of these gases, controlling how much F gas is released into the Earth’s atmosphere in an effort to protect the environment. Legally, air conditioning installations and equipment that contain more than 2.14kg (5 Tonnes CO2) of an F gas refrigerant should be leak checked once a year. If the system contains more than 24kg (50 Tonnes CO2) of F gas refrigerant, then they should be check checked every 6 months for leaks and damage by a contractor certified to work with F gases.
Owners of equipment that use and contain HFCs should, according to the legislation,
- Use qualified, specialist and appropriately trained contractors to repair, maintain, dispose of and service refrigerant and equipment
- Use any and all measures to help prevent refrigerant leaks
- Repair leaks as soon as they have been detected
Owners of equipment or systems that contain 2.4kg (5 Tonnes CO2) or more of an F gas refrigerant are under additional obligations, which include:
- Conducting regular, scheduled testing (annually, bi-annually or quarterly if a system meets the certain threshold) by qualified and certified contractors with the intention of identifying leaks
- Maintaining the appropriate records, detailing: the date of each leak check along with the results, the quantity and type of each refrigerant used, the quantity, type and equivalent CO2 in Tonnes of each refrigerant which has been disposed of, recovered from or added to the system and the identity and details of the company and contractor who carried out the maintenance or service
Integrated Compliance are qualified to carry out F gas testing. If necessary, annual F gas checks can easily be incorporated into a Planned Maintenance Contract.
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Do I have to use a water treatment company?
No. This may not be necessary, providing you have the competence, ie knowledge and skills to fulfil your health and safety duties, eg take responsibility for managing the control scheme. If you do, you should make reasonable enquiries to satisfy yourself of their competence in the area of work before you enter into any contracts for the treatment, monitoring, and cleaning of the system, and any other aspects of water treatment and control. An illustration of the levels of service to expect from service providers can be found in the Code of Conduct administered by the Legionella Control Association.find out more