Toshiba warns over potential ban on pre-charged ac kit

Banning the sale of air conditioning equipment pre-charged with refrigerant would cost installers more, according to Toshiba Air Conditioning's commmercial director David Dunn.
Toshiba warns over potential ban on pre-charged ac kit
He said the systems would need to be charged on site which would be more expensive and time-consuming, and added: 'It would also add to the potential risk of refrigerant loss to atmosphere; charging refrigerant on site at hundreds of thousands of locations across the country, no matter how carefully done, will never be as controllable, precise or safe as in the manufacturer's factory conditions, where charging is fully automated.'

Preventing the sale of pre-charged ac equipment has been suggested as a possible way to cut leakage risks and make refrigerant sales more transparent.

Mr Dunn said manufacturers could comply: 'All it would require is an additional stage to recover the refrigerant after run testing, then charge with oxygen free nitrogen prior to sealing and shipping.'

However, he added: 'We believe the key to ensuring that leaks are minimised is improved standards of training for installers and making sure current regulations on certification and competence are enforced.

'If the issue is accountability and traceability, then it would be straightforward to require manufacturers to provide returns documenting the quantity of refrigerant supplied in pre-charged equipment.

'If the issue is reducing refrigerant release during installation, servicing and ongoing operation, then policing the existing requirements and improving training is the most effective way of ensuring this.'

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5 November 2012


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