New ‘F Gas’ Rules, Commercial Refrigeration and the Impact

As you may know, there have recently been changes made to the rules governing EU fluorinated greenhouse (F gas) regulations, which include the phasing out of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and bans on some products. This EU regulation represents a change brought in during 2014, in an effort to minimize the impact of greenhouse gases on the environment, and replaces the 2006 regulations.

Clearly, this has major repercussions for the refrigeration industry. But it affects not just manufacturers, but end users too. So, if you own a business that uses refrigeration units, what will the impact be on you? What Is the Impact On Me?

You must comply with these regulations if you operate a refrigeration unit. Even if the unit does not belong to you, you are responsible if you are using it in your business. To find out if your refrigeration unit is affected, you should check the manual that came with it, look for labels or speak to your supplier. Look at the list of the fluorinated greenhouse gases (F gases) covered by the new EU regulations here.

HFC 404A and HFC 134a are common in refrigeration systems, so look to see if your refrigeration units contain them.

Only Use Trained Technicians

The 2014 regulations state that:

“Only trained technicians can carry out work on equipment containing F gases, including:

1. installation 2. testing for leaks 3. general maintenance 4. disposal or decommissioning when you no longer need the product” As a business, it is your responsibility to check that the person maintaining, repairing or disposing of your refrigeration units is properly qualified. Label Your Refrigeration Unit

You must label to your refrigeration unit if your service operator has had to add F gas during the course of maintenance. The label must state that the equipment has F gas in it, and the industry name for the F Gas.

Check For Leaks

As the operator, it is your responsibility to keep your refrigeration units within the regulations. Therefore you must check that no gas is leaking from your unit. Those who ‘install, maintain or dispose of equipment’ bear joint responsibility for F gas leakages. This is another reason to be sure that you only use qualified technicians to service your equipment.

Keep Records

You must keep record about any refrigerator unit that has been checked for leaks, if it contains F Gas ‘equivalent to more than 5 tonnes of CO2.

For full instructions on how to comply with the 2014 EU Regulations on F Gas units, refer to the Government information page here: EU F gas regulation: guidance for users, producers and traders.

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