Do I need a TM44 Air Conditioning Assessment?

In short, if you’ve got air conditioning, you probably require a TM44.  Read on for more information…

What is a TM44 Air Conditioning Inspection?

CIBSE TM44 is used as the guidance for air conditioning inspections in the UK, the Republic of Ireland, Malta and Gibraltar.

The guidance is primarily intended to support inspections which are carried out for compliance with the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD), but will also be useful to anyone who wishes to assess the energy efficiency of an air conditioning system.

What’s the Law on TM44?

All air conditioning systems with an effective rated output of more than 12kw must be regularly inspected by an energy assessor.

The regulations require the first inspection of the affected air conditioning systems to be carried out as follows:

  • for all systems first put into service on or after 1 January 2008, the first inspection must have taken place within five years of the date when the system was first put into service
  • for other air conditioning systems, where the effective rated output is more than 250kW the first inspection must have taken place by 4 January 2009
  • for other air conditioning systems, where the effective rated output is more than 12kW the first inspection must have taken place by 4 January 2011
What constitutes a ‘System’?

One or more air conditioning units within a building controlled by a single person are considered to comprise a single air conditioning system for the purposes of the regulations.

Only air conditioning systems with an effective rated output of more than 12kW are affected by these regulations. This will include systems consisting of individual units which are less than 12kW but whose combined effective rated output is more than 12kW.

So for instance, if you have a building with 4 air conditioning units, each rated at 3kw, you are affected by these regulations.

How do I know how many kilowatts of a/c I’ve got?
Example of a wall mounted unit that may require a TM44 Air Conditioning inspection.

A wall mounted air con.

Your building should have an F-Gas log. This will list all the air conditioning systems and should indicate their kilowattage.

If you don’t have an F-Gas log – you need one – it’s another legal obligation, but in the mean time, the kilowatt rating, as well as other specifications, of any air conditioning unit should be displayed on both the indoor and outdoor units.  It’s usually a silver label on the side of each unit.

Example of a ceiling mounted cassette unit that may require a TM44 Air Conditioning inspection.

A ceiling mounted air con.

As a rough guide, a wall mounted air con unit will be approx 2 – 4kw and a ceiling mounted air con will be approx 5 – 10kw.

Who’s Responsible for getting the TM44 inspection done?

The legal responsibility to have the inspection carried out lies with the person who controls the operation of the system i.e. the person who controls the technical functioning of the system, not someone who can just adjust the temperature or whose only responsibility is to adjust the controls.

For multi-let buildings, such as offices and shopping centres, this is usually the tenant’s responsibility.

Who does the TM44 inspection?

An inspection must be carried out by an accredited air conditioning energy assessor who is a current member of an accredited scheme.

What’s involved in the TM44 inspection?

The air conditioning inspection process will examine the refrigeration equipment and air moving systems that are part of an air conditioning system, including their controls.

Any documentation which helps to understand the system, or indicates the extent, to which the system has been maintained, will also be examined.

Access will be required to equipment that may be located in plant rooms, or outside the building including on rooftops or in other positions with limited provision for access.

In all cases the building owner or manager should agree the means for safe access in conjunction with the inspector. The inspector may need to be accompanied by the responsible building manager or maintenance agent at all times.

How long does it take?

Obviously this depends on the size of your building(s) and any evidence you can provide on maintenance of your systems in your F-Gas log, but in most cases an inspection will be completed within a day.

The completed report is usually available within a week.

What do I get from TM44?

The purpose of the inspection report is to ensure that the building owner or manager is provided with information regarding the efficiency of the air conditioning systems that they control, together with advice on how to improve the energy efficiency of the system, to identify opportunities to save energy and to reduce operating costs.

The air conditioning inspection report will include at least the following details:

  • the likely efficiency of the system and any suggestions made for improvement
  • any faults identified during the inspection and suggested actions
  • the adequacy of equipment maintenance and any suggestions for improvement
  • the adequacy of the installed controls and control settings and any suggestions made for improvement
  • the current size of the installed system in relation to the cooling load any suggestions for improvement
  • summary of the findings and the key recommendations
Am I legally obliged to act on the TM44 report’s recommendations?

There is no legal requirement to act on the recommendations. Acting on the advice and key recommendations in the inspection report and rectifying faults or making appropriate improvements, where this is attractive and cost effective, will contribute to the efficient running of air conditioning system, which will contribute to a reduction in carbon emissions and reduce the operating costs for the building occupants.

How often do I have to get the TM44 inspection?

The inspections must be no more than five years apart.

Are there penalties for not having a TM44 inspection?

Local weights and measures authorities (usually through their trading standards officers) are responsible for enforcing the requirements relating to air conditioning inspection reports.

Failure to commission, keep, or provide an air conditioning inspection report when required by the regulations means that a penalty charge notice may be issued to those in breach of the requirements.

The penalty for failing to having an air conditioning inspection report is fixed at £300.

Further penalties can be issued for failure to provide a copy of the air conditioning inspection report when requested to an officer of an enforcement authority within seven days. This is fixed at £200.

Solicitors are starting to request sight of the document before they complete property transactions. Since this is environmental legislation companies and organisations could also suffer reputational problems for failing to comply.

How can Torr help with my TM44 obligations?

We can arrange for an inspection to take place and a report compiled at your earliest convenience, fulfilling your obligations under the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive.

Further reading.