F Gas Operator Requirements – Are you Compliant?
Most of us are aware of the fact that only Gas Safe registered plumbers are legally allowed to work on domestic or commercial gas appliances but the equally stringent rules around refrigerant gases (so-called F gases) are less commonly understood.
If you read no more of this article, please read the following two sentences:
If you are responsible for air conditioning equipment on your premises then you have to comply with the latest (2014) EU-derived F gas regulations. That responsibility includes regularly checking for leaks and ensuring only F gas certified engineers install, maintain and dispose of equipment containing F gases.
The reason F gas is of such concern to the government is that they have been linked with damage to the environment, in particular by contributing to global warming. There are many different types of F gas but HFCs are of particular relevance to the HVAC industry since two F gases (404A and 410A) are prevalent in air conditioning systems.
In an effort to tighten up on F gases and ultimately phase them out, the EU have introduced various regulations on their sale, usage, monitoring and disposal and have required firms such as ours to become F gas certificated to continue to operate legally.
Good Hands = Safe Hands
We like to reassure our new and existing customers that they are in good hands but what does this mean? One of the main advantages of hiring K2 Heating and Cooling Solutions Ltd. is our significant experience specifically in the air conditioning sector. Having worked with air con systems for over 15 years we live and breathe the industry’s specific regulations and know exactly what is required of us in legal terms.
Some newer heating and air conditioning firms may have plenty of experience in related fields (we ourselves have over 30 year’s experience in the building trade) but that does not mean they are as aware of the regulations – and penalties for flouting them – as we are at K2.
This is a worry to us and other reputable firms as one way to keep costs down and undercut prices is to avoid industry certifications and ‘risk it.’
Fortunately, it is easy for a business or private customer to check up on F gas compliance. For example, K2 are registered with REFCOM, the industry-leading F gas compliance registrar. Simply visit www.refcom.org, enter K2 in the ‘Company Name’ field and click ‘Go.’ You should see us listed in the results that come up. Alternatively you can type in our reference number (REF1009232).
Operator Requirements – Are you Compliant?
In addition to ensuring only F gas certificated firms such as K2 Heating and Cooling Solutions Ltd. are commissioned to install, service, repair or decommission your air conditioning system, the Environment Agency require you to regularly check your system for F gas leakage.
The specific rules regarding the frequency of F gas monitoring are complex and depend on factors such as the amount and type of F gas used and whether a leak-monitoring system is in place. However, the rules are tightening all the time (e.g. in 2017 the previous maximum duration threshold for monitoring equipment with small amounts of F gas became obsolete).
There are other stipulations that operators must follow (e.g. clear labeling, record-keeping, etc.) but the safest course of action is to speak to a certificated company like K2 and allow us to recommend and implement a maintenance plan. That way, we will handle all aspects of your compliance and ensure you are never at risk of a service ban.
Need More Information on F Gas?
If you are interested in finding out more about F gases you can call the Environment Agency on 0370 8506 506 or email [email protected]
To talk to one of the K2 team about installing, maintaining or repairing an air conditioning system containing F gas, please call us on 0161 804 4561 or 01204 361171