The F-Gas Regualtions have been in place since July 2007, but have been largely ignored by many end users.
F-gases are fluorinated green house gases, a family of chemicals that contain Fluorine. Most F-gases are very powerful green house gases which contribute to global warming if emitted into the atmosphere. HFC's (Hyrofluorocarbons) used in air conditioning, refrigeration and heat pump systems are common F-Gases.
Essentially the regulations make all operators of the equipment legally responsible for:
1) Taking feasible steps to prevent F-Gas leakage from all systems, having any detected leakage repaired as soon as possible and having any repairs checked within one month to ensure that they are successful.
2)Having leakage checks conducted on all systems at regular intervals (ranging from quartley to annually according to the quantity of refrigerant in the system).
3)Having approved automatic leak detectors fitted on systems using 300kg or more of refrigerant and subjecting the detectors to annual functionality checks.
4)Maintaining precise records and when required making these available to the regulator (The Environment Agency or your local authority).
The records require information such as the quanity and type of refrigerant installed in each system, the quantitys added or recovered during maintenance and service and the engineers details who carried out the work.
5)Keeping the recovery notes for recovered F-Gases during the servicing of your plant.
6)Having equipment correctly labelled with type and quantity of the F-Gas contained with in it.
7)Never using or selling non-refillable containers for transporting or storing F-gas refrigerant.
The person who is responsible for the compliance of the F-Gas regulations is the operator - who owns the equipment/use's the equipment containing the F-gas refrigerant.
It is also the responsibility of the operator to check the engineers and the company carrying out the works on the equipment are both qualified to current standards.
The Environment agency and local councils will have the authority to carry out checks on your F-Gas records and equipment.
The Environment agency and the local councils have the authority to issue punishments from advice and guidance, serving a prohibition notice to a piece of equipment or a whole site being shut down.
There are two things to consider with the penalites:
1) Can you afford the bad publicity for your business being shut down for breaching environmental regulations.
2) Can you afford to operate your business with out your air conditioning or refrigeration system's operating.
All Direct Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Co Ltd engineers are trained to the required standard to meet the requirements of the legisation in order to help companies properly maintain there equipment and stay within the law.