TM44 Air Conditioning Inspection

By Helen Morphew

What is TM44?

TM44 (Technical Memorandum 44) is the accepted guidance for the UK for judging the efficiency of air-conditioning units. The key role of the guidance is to support inspections to comply with the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD).

TM44 provides guidance on the inspection of air conditioning systems, aiming to enhance energy efficiency, reduce carbon emissions, and ensure optimal indoor comfort levels.  TM44 Inspections or Air Conditioning Energy Assessments (ACEA) are required by law in the United Kingdom under the Energy Performance of Buildings Regulations 2007 ( amended in 2011 and 2012).

Why is TM44 important?

Compliance with TM44 regulations is mandatory for all air conditioning systems with an effective rated output exceeding 12 kW. Non-compliance can result in penalties, fines, or even legal consequences. Therefore, following TM44 guidelines is crucial for building owners and operators to avoid regulatory violations. Inspections also play a pivotal role in identifying inefficiencies within air conditioning systems. By assessing system performance, energy usage, and maintenance practices, TM44 helps pinpoint areas for improvement, leading to enhanced energy efficiency and reduced running costs. 

By carrying out an inspection, issues that compromise indoor air quality can be identified and rectified. Through the implementation of TM44 recommendations, buildings can reduce their reliance on fossil fuels for heating, cooling, and ventilation. By optimising air conditioning systems, buildings can achieve substantial reductions in carbon emissions, contributing directly to the net-zero target. 

When should you have a TM44 Inspection?

The inspection should be conducted once every five years by an independent, accredited assessor who is suitably trained and registered. The purpose of a TM44 inspection is to provide a report to business owners and managers on how energy-efficient their air-conditioning is, including the control settings and an appraisal of the system’s effectiveness in relation to the square footage. While following the advice is not imperative, having a TM44 inspection every five years is. The first TM44 inspection should take place before the air-conditioning system is 5 years old, and further inspections should be scheduled every 5 years (or less) thereafter. Any buildings with an air-conditioning system that is approaching its 5th year of operation should schedule an inspection as a matter of priority.

Why Bother with a TM44 Inspection?

The TM44 Inspection serves several purposes: The inspection provides you with a full report on how energy-efficient your current system is. It provides recommendations on how you could make improvements to your air-conditioning. Some recommendations are low-cost or no-cost at all. The report focuses on using less energy which will save you money. It allows companies to make smart decisions based on a professional report of their individual premises. It promotes the use of less energy, lowering CO2 emissions which is good for the environment and our health. It means you stay legal and compliant, and can avoid suddenly being faced with a fine for non-compliance.

What if you do not have the budget to implement the report recommendations?

The legislation requires these reports are carried out on a 5 yearly basis, however the findings of the report do not legally require action and the implementation of any recommendations made is at the discretion of the building owner or manager. The scope of the report, where possible, is to highlight simple low-cost measures that will maximise efficiency of existing HVAC systems. Although outdated and inefficient equipment will be identified, and efficiency will usually be improved by replacing these systems, there is no legal obligation to take this advice. The purpose of the Inspection is to ensure that building owners and managers are given basic information regarding the efficiency of the air-conditioning systems they control. You will receive a report from the assessment which includes recommendations for steps you could take to improve the efficiency of your system. These may range from improvements to the maintenance regime, through changes to the way the system is operated, to recommendations on the specification of a new or replacement system. The report will be carried out in line with CIBSE TM44 publication.

Many companies are unaware of when their last TM44 inspection took place, if at all. Contact us, and we can help you decide if you should have a TM44 inspection to ensure you are fully compliant with the current legislation.

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