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Welcome to the Airtec Services blog. Here we will post up everything from industry news, projects we are currently working on to completed installations.

Planned maintenance of your heating and ventilation (HVAC) equipment

20th April 2017

Planned preventative maintenance contracts are important for prolonging the life span of any conditioning system and reducing energy consumption. Regular maintenance brings benefits with regards to system efficiency and reliability and helps to keep running costs down and preventing breakdowns and parts failures.

We specialise in business applications such general office environments, as well as IT/server rooms and laboratories, where temperature control is critical and understand the importance in offering a superior range of services, whether it be maintenance, design, or repair.

Server rooms systems need to be designed to be robust and offer precise control over the environment in order to ensure the IT equipment doesn’t fail. Poorly designed systems could lead network failure and file loss, causing business interruption and loss in sales. Good design and regular planned maintenance is paramount.

If you want your air conditioning system to function throughout the year with minimal issues, annual maintenance is essential. Certain environments are more prone to poor air quality, pollution and chemicals and therefore equipment should be maintained more regularly. For example, many chemicals, products and sprays used in hair salons and barbers can quickly block the filters.

Companies rely on their HVAC equipment and its design functions – such as de-humidification and air filtration. Medical facilities and laboratories may require more frequent maintenance to keep air quality and humidity at a constant level and the HVAC equipment maintains effectiveness.

Preventative maintenance ensures:
More energy-efficient running
More consistent temperatures
Fewer repairs
Longer life expectancy of the equipment
Better air quality

F Gas Regulations
Current regulations stipulate that you are required to check for refrigerant leaks in air conditioning (HVAC ) equipment. HVAC systems contain hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) or Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), which are types of fluorinated greenhouse gas, the most common F gases found in HVAC being R410a (HFC), R407c (HFC), R22 (HCFC). It is now illegal to use R22 to replenish systems. Companies that operate or maintain equipment containing F gas must meet several requirements, including carrying out leak tests and maintenance. Only trained personnel can carry out work on equipment containing F gases, including: installation, leak testing, general maintenance and disposal or decommissioning. All engineers must hold a valid and recognised FGAS qualification. Under the F Gas regulations, users/operators are responsible for stopping leaks if they occur. You are the operator of equipment if you’re in charge of its day to day running, including as a service company. You don’t have to own equipment to be the operator. The engineer who services and maintains the unit shares this responsibility. They must inform the user if they suspect a leak and assist them in rectifying it.
HVAC equipment, which contains F gases above a certain threshold, is required to be checked for leaks at specific intervals.

How often does it have to be maintained?
In order to work out how often your system needs to be maintained and leak checked, you need to know what type of refrigerant it contains and what quantity of refrigerant the system is charged with. This information is usually on the outdoor condensing unit.
Once you have this information you can use the table below to work out how frequently you should be maintaining your equipment.
For some of the commonly used HFC refrigerants this equates to the following kg charge weights.

table

What documentation is required?
The equipment operator, and the company that maintains it, must keep the following records:
Quantity and type of gas in the equipment when it’s installed
Quantity and type of gas added during any maintenance (e.g. if a leak is identified)
Details (name, address and certificate number if relevant) of any companies that install, service or decommission the equipment
Dates and results of all mandatory leak checks
Measures taken to recover and dispose of gases when you dispose of the equipment


What should be included in maintenance?
Maintenance should include, but not be restricted to:
Check and clean all indoor unit air filters
Check and clean drip trays and condensate drains
Check indoor coils are clean and free from debris or damage
Clean indoor coils with Hydro-Coil anti bacteria coil cleaner
Check and test refrigerant circuit for leaks (visual)
Check refrigerant charge to comply with relevant F-Gas regulations

Air Conditioning Energy Assessments
Air Conditioning Energy Assessments are now mandatory for any commercial premises being sold or let. All air conditioning systems with an effective rated output of more than 12kw must be regularly inspected by an energy assessor. The inspections must be no more than five years apart. Airtec Services provides free advice and will carry out the assessment to ensure your property is covered by Environmental Agency standards and TM44.

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