What are the legal implications and corporate responsibility when it comes to HVAC-R?

The Queensland Work Health and Safety Act 2011 clearly defines the duties to ensure the health and safety of workers. This includes the management of risks, the provision and maintenance of safe plant and structures. It makes reference to the use of Codes of Practice which includes “Managing the work environment and facilities”. This sets out that a person conducting a business or undertaking has the responsibility to provide a clean safe work environment. This includes Air Quality, Temperature and any other issue that may affect a workers health or safety. There are several Australian Standards including AS/NZS 3666 (Parts 1, 2, 3 & 4), AS 1668 and AS 1851 which are used as references in this area as well as the AIRAH Best Practice Guideline on HVAC Hygiene.

How often should an Air Conditioning system be checked or cleaned?

Air Handling Units, Coils and drain pans should be checked every month by your air conditioning service provider and cleaned when necessary. Duct work, supply air outlets, return air and relief air grilles should be inspected annually and cleaned when necessary. This is required as per AS/NZS 3666.2. This also requires a visual inspection of moisture producing equipment which would require an access panel be fitted in the supply air duct after the cooling coil. The minimum acceptable system hygiene standards are covered in Table 2.3 of the AIRAH Best Practice Guideline on HVAC Hygiene. This gives a visual reference for cleaning depending on which part of the system is involved.

How often should a Kitchen Exhaust system be checked or cleaned?

Under AS 1851.6 Kitchen Exhaust Fans, Hoods, Filters and Grease Gutters should be checked monthly for excessive Grease accumulation. Most Insurance companies and landlord agreements require an Annual Certificate of Cleaning be supplied. IKECA (International Kitchen Exhaust Cleaning Association) has developed a new standard IKECA C10. This uses a measurement system of deposition to establish a need to clean. The method of measurement is a depth gauge comb which is scraped along the duct surface. For example, a measured depth of 2000 μm (0.078 in) indicates the need to remove the deposition risk. The standard also includes point measurement for critical areas. For example, 3175 μm (0.125 in.) in a fan housing would require cleaning.

How often should a Ventilation system be checked or cleaned?

Smoke Spill Fans, Air Pressurisation Fan and Air Handling Units with changeover under Fire/Smoke conditions are all required to be checked Quarterly under AS 1851.6


How often should Electric Duct Heaters be checked or cleaned?

Electric Duct Heaters, Controls, Safeties and Insulation is required to be checked Yearly under AS 1851.6. This includes a visual inspection with access required to the duct.

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