The Government is considering ways to lessen the impact of domestic air-conditioning units as part of its revamp of Part L of the Building Regulations
The move is a response to concerns that global warming will lead to a rapid increase in the number of air-conditioning units in homes over the next 30 years.

Part L will look for ways to prevent households resorting to air-conditioning, and will impose minimum energy-efficiency standard on those that do.

A first draft of the proposals to revamp Part L says that overheating can be ameliorated with solar control measures such as coated glass, and restrictions on the amount of heat given off by domestic appliances.

It says: "As our climate changes, the control of overheating will become increasingly significant if more penetration of domestic air-conditioning is to be avoided."

The drive to reduce air-conditioning in homes is complicated by the high standard of insulation demanded by the current Part L.

Control of overheating will be increasingly significant

Leaked Whitehall document

Worries about an explosion in domestic air-conditioning are being compounded by predictions of a parallel growth in offices. Experts are warning that that climate change will make the 70% of Britain's offices that are naturally ventilated unusable by 2030, unless they are air-conditioned.

The government is planning to tighten standards for the design of non-residential air-conditioning systems by requiring "more demanding standards for effective designs".

It is also considering extending the scope of Part L to cover other mechanical services within a building, such as lifts.