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FGas Regulations in the UK: Everything You Need to Know

fgas regulations

As a building manager in the UK, you’ve likely come across the term “FGas regulations”. This legislation means your units require regular F gas surveys to remain compliant and operate efficiently. 

F gas regulations affect how you maintain, service, and replace your systems. Whether you’re responsible for a commercial building, an apartment complex, or a large residential property, understanding these regulations is important for your HVAC systems.

What are F gases? 

F gases, or fluorinated greenhouse gases, are a group of man-made chemicals used in various cooling and heating systems. They are commonly found in air conditioning units, refrigerants, heating systems like heat pumps, and some fire damper systems. 

The most common types of F gases are:

  1. Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs)
  2. Perfluorocarbons (PFCs)
  3. Sulfur hexafluoride (SF6)

These gases are popular in HVAC and refrigeration systems because they’re efficient, non-toxic, and non-flammable. However, they have a significant downside: they’re powerful greenhouse gases. When released into the atmosphere, F gases trap heat much more effectively than carbon dioxide, contributing to global warming.

What are F Gas regulations?

F Gas regulations are a set of rules implemented by the UK government to control the use and emissions of fluorinated gases. These regulations are part of the country’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat climate change.

This is a maintained EU F gas regulation in response to the European Commission reviewing the 2014 regulations and proposing a new regulation to the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union in 2022. Post Brexit, the revised F gas Regulations (EU) 2024/573 were adopted in February 2024.  

The regulations cover various aspects of F gas use, including:

  1. Leak checks and repairs: Regular inspections are required to detect and fix any leaks in systems containing F gases.
  2. Record keeping: Detailed records must be kept for systems containing F gases above certain thresholds.
  3. Handling and recovery: Only technicians with Fgas certifications are allowed to handle F gases and recover them from systems.
  4. Phasedown of HFCs: The use of certain F gasses with high global warming potential is gradually being reduced.
  5. Equipment bans: Certain types of equipment using F gases, such as R-404A, R-507A, R-410A, and R-134a fluorinated refrigerants, are being phased out.

What is the primary aim of FGas Regulations?

The goal of F gas Regulations is to reduce the environmental impact of fluorinated greenhouse gases. These regulations are designed to achieve several key objectives while setting specific, measurable targets:

Reduce Emissions

Cut F-gas emissions by two-thirds by 2030 compared to 2014 levels through strict controls on the use, handling, and disposal of F gases.

Phased Reduction

A phase-down in the amount of HFCs that can be placed on the market:

  • By 2021: 45% reduction
  • By 2024: 69% reduction
  • By 2027: 76% reduction
  • By 2030: 79% reduction

Encourage Innovation and Alternative Technologies

Promote using substances or technologies with lower global warming potential. This includes specific equipment bans, such as:

  • From 2020: Ban on domestic refrigerators and freezers using HFCs with GWP ≥ 150
  • From 2022: Ban on commercial refrigerators and freezers using HFCs with GWP ≥ 150
  • From 2025: Ban on single split air-conditioning systems containing less than 3kg of F gases with GWP ≥ 750

Improve Energy Efficiency

Improve the energy efficiency of systems that use F gases by ensuring proper maintenance and reducing leaks.

Meet Climate Action Targets

Helping the UK meet its greenhouse gas emission reduction targets as part of broader climate change efforts.

Harmonise with International Standards

While the UK has left the EU, these regulations make sure that UK standards keep on track with international efforts to combat climate change.

    What is an FGAS survey?

    An F gas survey is a check-up for your property’s cooling and heating systems that use fluoride greenhouse gases. It’s like a health check for your air conditioning, refrigeration, and other similar equipment.

    Depending on the size of the system and whether you have a leak detection system installed will depend on how often you need a survey. A unit that produces 5 and 50 tonnes of CO2 requires one annual inspection, 50 to 500 tonnes of CO2 every six months, and anything that produces more than 500 tonnes of CO2 needs a quarterly inspection.

    During the survey, an FGAS-registered technician will examine all your systems that use these gases. They’ll check if everything is working properly if there are any leaks, and if you’re keeping the right records. This service and maintenance help make sure that you’re following the rules about F gasses.

    You might wonder why you need this survey. First, it’s required by law, and not doing it could result in fines. The survey can also find problems early before they become big and expensive to fix and help your systems work better, which can save you money on energy bills.

    These surveys are also good for the environment. When your systems are working well, they release fewer harmful gases into the air, so you’re doing your part to protect the planet.

    Regular F gas surveys can also help you plan for the future. They give you information about how well your equipment is working and when you might need to replace it. This can help you avoid surprise breakdowns and costs.

    FGas Surveys with GLP 

    Don’t risk non-compliance with F gas regulations. Book your professional FGas survey with GLP HVAC Services today. Our expert technicians will thoroughly assess your systems, provide detailed documentation, and offer tailored recommendations to keep you compliant and efficient. Take the first step towards peace of mind and environmental responsibility.

    Contact us now to schedule your F gas survey and ensure your business stays ahead of regulatory requirements.

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