Maintaining HVAC systems vital

Maintaining HVAC systems vital

HVAC systems are a big investment. This fact is often realised when an entire air conditioning system must be replaced due to poor maintenance.

We depend on HVAC systems in residential and commercial buildings to keep the interior temperature even all year round. However, many people seldom realise how the wear and tear on a heating and cooling system can mount up over time.

Ideally, a HVAC system requires a maintenance inspection twice a year, once in the winter before you use the heat pump heating system and once in the summer before you start the cooling cycle of the air conditioner. These inspections help to ensure that the installed system is functioning at its most efficient and providing optimum comfort. A maintenance inspection will also extend the life of your equipment, increase cost-effectiveness, and ensure safe heating and cooling. Remember that air filters would need cleaning more frequently.

Scheduling annual air conditioning system inspections can save on energy costs.

Frequent system inspections and maintenance checks help keep a system effective for a longer period, but sadly most systems are only attended to when they have broken down and likely to be a safety and health hazard.

Safe HVAC installations

Regular inspections are important however, the actual installation of an HVAC system carries heavier importance.

Maintaining a poorly installed system can prove pointless and rather harmful. It is vital to only use a registered installer with the South African Qualification and Certification Committee (SAQCC) Gas when installing HVAC equipment in your property to avoid accidents leaking refrigerant gas into the atmosphere that impacts on ozone depletion and contributes to global warming. The Montreal Protocol and the amendments were drafted to reduce ozone depletion and global warming.

The South African Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Contractors Association (SARACCA)’s members have agreed to a set of governing standards while freely competing against each other. The Pressure Equipment Regulations (PER) were put in place to ensure that all gas installations meet safety standards. These regulations set out the requirements regarding the design, manufacture, operation, repair, modification, inspection and testing of pressure for all equipment used in the HVAC industry. In terms of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, 1993, (PER) also requires all who intend on working on gas equipment to undergo specific training and to be registered with SAQCC Gas.

For safe HVAC installations, modifications, maintenance and repairs, only registered SAQCC Gas practitioners should be used and a Certificate of Conformity issued.

Legal documentation

A Certificate of Conformity (COC) for Gas installations is a legal document which must be obtained whenever a refrigeration system for air conditioning system under pressure is installed, modified or repaired and should be retained for future requirements. Only registered practitioners may issue a COC. When the refrigeration system size causes it to be in category II or higher, as defined by SANS 347, an Approved Inspection Authority (AIA) is required examine and to countersign the certificate of conformity issued by the gas practitioner.


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