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Dennis Flower, editor of Premises & Facilities Management explores the implications of the F-Gas Regulations for the FM sector

Those tasked with the running of facilities of all types and sizes are all too aware of the need to keep pace with the ever-changing regulations that relate to these, but with so many areas of responsibility included in the typical facility manager’s role it’s all too easy to miss one or more of the constant updates.

One of the more recent examples of changing legislation is that relating of the increasingly proscriptive F-Gas Regulations.

As if keeping up with these was not sufficiently onerous, another issue has emerged in the form of the sale of illegal refrigerants.

Check your supplier

Highlighted by the Federation of Environmental Trade Associations (FETA), concern has been expressed by the AREA, ADC3R, EFCTC and EPEE associations through the issue of a joint statement and also advising all those sourcing refrigerants to ensure these are purchased from reputable suppliers.

It would seem that the F-Gas Regulations are responsible for driving a number of changes in the refrigerant and cooling sector, following the ban on R22 refrigerants that has seen many plant rooms updated.

Improving efficiency

On a more positive note, those installing new air conditioning (AC) plant should now be enjoying lower energy bills and reduced carbon footprints due to the use of less environmentally harmful refrigerants by equipment with improved efficiency, although this – as always – will depend on whether these were specified, installed and commissioned correctly, of course.

Efficiency also depends on appropriate control as well of course and, as I’ve covered in previous articles on The Hub, a lot of these can be automated to aid the life of hard-pressed FMs, as well as delivering automatic reports on energy use, trends and areas for improvement.  

Regular check ups

Another essential requirement is for all AC plant and equipment to be correctly maintained, in order to keep it operating at optimum levels of efficiency, which will help to monitor its performance and prove that it meets with all legislative requirements.

As winter approaches and facilities begin to find that their heating plant and equipment is more in demand, the next few months provide the best opportunity to carry out AC upgrades and prepare to meet the requirements of warmer weather next spring and summer.

Dennis Flower is editor of PFM Magazine