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Dennis Flower looks at the reality of embracing new low-GWP refrigerants

In a perfect world we would see every facility reacting immediately to the need to comply with legislation well in advance of any deadline, allowing time to make any adjustments required should these prove necessary.

We all know that we don’t live in a perfect world, however, and the reality is often that we see a wide variety of instances ranging from those who are best prepared to others who, in the worst examples, remain completely unaware of their requirements and make no effort to comply.

The above was first related to me following the first updates to the F-Gas regulations a few years ago by one of the industry’s respected service providers who counted a large number of London’s building owners amongst its clients and has been further endorsed by others since I joined PFM Magazine three years ago.

This proves the case for having best-practice policies in place

Dennis Flower PfM Dennis Flower Editor of Premises and Facilities Management

Black market worries

It’s been reassuring to see the best examples of those updating their cooling systems with plant using refrigerants, such as R32, that comply with or exceed the latest low global warming requirements, but worrying to hear of the black market supply of those banned by the latest F-Gas regulations.

As is all too often the case, examples of cooling equipment non-compliance are frequently driven by either ignorance or an attempt to save money – possibly a mixture of the two.

However, the reality for the latter is this will frequently lead to added expense as the ageing models use increasingly more energy and leads to a higher number of call outs to replace worn out parts, accounting for larger percentages of the maintenance budget.


This once again proves the case for having best-practice policies in place to ensure that cooling equipment is correctly operated and maintained to provide long, effective and efficient service while assisting everyone to remain up to date and able to adjust to future legislative requirements more easily in the future.

Dennis Flower is editor of Premises & Facilities Management magazine