What is a TM44 Inspection and Do You Need One?

As the designated operator of an air conditioning system, you may be required to ensure compliance with various regulations. This includes the Energy Performance of Buildings (England and Wales) Regulations 2012, as amended in 2020 (the EPB Regulations). 

Under the EPB Regulations, the person who controls the operation of a refrigerant air conditioning system with an effective rated output of more than 12kW must arrange a TM44 inspection at the required intervals. 

Here’s everything you need to know in more detail. 

What is the purpose of a TM44 Inspection?

A TM44 inspection focuses on energy efficiency. Its purpose is to provide a comprehensive report on the efficiency of an air conditioning system and guidance on how this can be improved. 

To complete a TM44 inspection, an accredited energy assessor will visually inspect your AC system and its controls. They will also evaluate how effective the system is for the square footage of the premises it’s in. 

From this inspection, they will produce a report complete with the following information:

  • the current efficiency of the system
  • any faults found
  • the effectiveness of equipment maintenance
  • the suitability of the installed controls and control settings

It will also include any recommendations for efficiency improvements. These could be anything from simple changes to your control settings or a complete system upgrade. Whilst you are not legally obliged to follow these recommendations, there are several benefits to doing so:

  • Reduced energy consumption
  • Lower carbon emissions
  • Decreased running costs
  • Increased system longevity

Who Needs a TM44?

A TM44 inspection is required for any air conditioning system that uses a refrigerant as a cooling agent, and has an effective rated output of more than 12kW.

The effective rated output is the maximum calorific output in kW delivered during continuous operation as stated by the manufacturer. You can find this information on the rating plate attached to your system, in its operating manual, or on the manufacturer’s website.

Alternatively, if you have a planned preventive maintenance contract in place, your system’s capacity should be known by your maintenance contractor. 

It’s important to note that the 12kW rule does not only apply to single large scale systems, but also to multiple smaller systems that have a combined output of 12kW or more. 

How often is a TM44 required

A TM44 inspection is a mandatory requirement that must be carried out no more than five years after the last. In line with the EPB Regulations, the initial inspection of a qualifying system must meet the following:

  • 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

Is TM44 a Legal Requirement?

TM44 inspections are mandatory, though as mentioned there is no legal obligation that you follow the recommendations laid out in your report. 

They must be completed by an accredited energy assessor, which you can find by searching the Government’s energy assessor database. If you do choose to follow guidance on repairs or replacements, the work must be carried out by a qualified engineer. 

To stay fully compliant, the person who controls the operation of a qualifying air conditioning system must:

  • Ensure TM44 inspections are done in accordance with the requirements and timetable of the regulations.
  • Keep the most recent TM44 inspection report provided by an accredited energy assessor. 
  • Hand over any TM44 inspection reports to the new system operator should this change.

In the event that operation responsibilities are handed over and an inspection report is not passed on, the new operator must arrange for a TM44 within three months.

There are penalties for non-compliance, with the fine for failing to arrange a TM44 inspection currently standing at £300. A further penalty of £200 can be issued if a Trading Standards Officer requests a copy of a TM44 report, and you fail to produce this within seven days. 

A TM44 inspection is just one of your obligations as the operator of an air conditioning system. Separate to the EPB Regulations and the F-Gas Regulations, which may require you to have regular F-Gas leak testing carried out. 

At Loughborough Air Conditioning we’re F-Gas certified, members of the voluntary REFCOM Elite scheme, and happy to carry out F-Gas leak testing for you. We’re also happy to look at the recommendations made in your TM44 report and offer a competitive quotation for the work.

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