Australian Institute releases safety guide on flammable refrigerants

By Alexandra Maratou, Jul 09, 2013, 10:34 2 minute reading

With flammable refrigerants such as hydrocarbons being used more and more in Australia, The Australian Institute of Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heating (AIRAH), has released its Flammable Refrigerants Safety Guide, aimed at providing guidance to the industry on how to work safely with these refrigerants.

In Australia, flammable refrigerants are already used in domestic refrigerators, small integral commercial cabinets, fluid chillers and industrial refrigeration, and AIRAH expects their use to continue to grow in commercial and industrial refrigeration applications, as well as in commercial and residential air conditioning: “With the increased cost of HFCs, and growing interest in the use of low-GWP refrigerants, the use of alternative – and more flammable – refrigerants will be more common”, said AIRAH CEO Phil Wilkinson.

This increased use of flammable refrigerants represents a significant change for the industry and its workers. […] We need to ensure that, as the use of alternative refrigerants picks up, our industry is properly equipped to work safely, efficiently and professionally with any refrigerant they encounter. And that’s where the Flammable Refrigerants Safety Guide has a crucial role to play.”

In scope: stationary applications with A2 and A3 refrigerants

The Flammable Refrigerants Safety Guide covers all stationary refrigerating systems of all sizes, including air conditioners and heat pumps that are to be charged with flammable refrigerants with a refrigerant classification of A2 or A3, or any other refrigerant that meets the criteria to be classified as an A2 or A3 refrigerant.

The guide does not cover non-stationary applications of flammable refrigerants such as in-vehicle air conditioning (cars, trucks, busses, trains, boats, aircraft) or transport refrigeration (road, rail, air, marine).

It covers the management of health and safety risks involved in the design, manufacture, supply, installation, conversion, commissioning, operation, maintenance, decommissioning, dismantling and disposal of HVAC&R equipment and systems that contain a flammable refrigerant.

The guide applies to the use of flammable refrigerants in systems specifically designed for their use, but also to the “conversion” of equipment and systems not specifically designed for their use, including chillers and plant-room equipment.


The Australian Institute of Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heating (AIRAH) is an independent, specialist, not-for-profit technical organisation providing leadership in the HVAC&R sector through collaboration, engagement and professional development. 


By Alexandra Maratou

Jul 09, 2013, 10:34

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