Over the last 20 years air-conditioning has become easier and easier to install and the number of companies doing this work has predictably boomed.
When I started in 1990, the Southampton yellow pages had four air-conditioning companies listed. Now there are hundreds. Why is this?
Well 20 years ago chillers and VAV were the units of choice and the closest thing to a split system was a window rattler. Now split systems are available everywhere from the high street to the specialist equipment supplier. The units are easy to install and anyone can buy them. To make matters worse the installation can now be done for under ₤1,000 per system where 20 years ago it would have been twice that figure.
There are insufficient college places to train all these new people and anyhow why bother. Our industry up to this point has been completely unregulated, the entry level being access to an eBay account to get the tools. Unless something is done this will only get worse, the units are still getting easier to install and now a unit can be bought from the web for under ₤200.
I know the F Gas regulation is here and we finally have some details about the training courses we will have to undergo to continue in our careers. What worries me is how’s it going to be policed? Will it really be like CORGI? Or are the chances of getting caught similar to those of winning the lottery?
If you are wondering why I am so skeptical its just that since the introduction of the regulations about dumping CFCs into the atmosphere, as far as I know only ONE engineer has ever been bought to court for flouting these laws and that was over ten years ago.
I say bring in the Freon police and lets get the engineering standards back on the up again.