Determining Application Limits & Safety Requirements for Low-GWP Flammable Refrigerants


Various governments around the world have been regulating hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants for decades, and there now is a global treaty in effect – the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol – that establishes a global phase down structure for the chemicals.

In anticipation of just such a global agreement, AHRI in 2011 initiated a robust research program to identify suitable alternative refrigerants. Most of those identified have low toxicity, but in some cases have different flammability characteristics than those in use today. In a follow-on research program, AHRI, ASHRAE, and the U.S. Department of Energy have thus far invested nearly $7 million to study the safe use of those alternative refrigerants that are classified as flammable or mildly flammable.

Webinar 9: A2L Refrigerants and Tactical Considerations for Firefighters
Wednesday, May 12, 2021, 4:00 PM EDT (US and Canada)

The UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute, in partnership with members of the fire service, and AHRI, developed firefighter training related to the refrigerant transition mandated by both federal and state regulations. During the next installment in the Safe Refrigerant Transition Task Force Webinar Series, a panel of experts will offer an overview and excerpts from the training. The presentation will be followed by a Q&A on the training program, other research, and regulatory policy issues related to the refrigerant transition. While the training program is designed for firefighters, all are welcome to join.

Webinar 1 — Air Conditioning Applications

Webinar 1: Air Conditioning Applications
Wednesday, September 23, 2020

AHRI Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Helen Walter-Terrinoni led a panel of experts to discuss leak and ignition testing of low-GWP refrigerants in air conditioning equipment under whole room scale conditions, as well as refrigerant leak characteristics in real-life applications.

View the webinar here.

Webinar 2 — Commercial Refrigeration Applications

Webinar 2: Commercial Refrigeration Applications
Wednesday, September 30, 2020

This webinar discussed IEC/UL Standard 60335-2-89 on refrigerant charge level requirements and summarized the most recent test results on dispersion and ignition tests of low-global warming potential (GWP) refrigerants in commercial refrigeration display cases. The testing has covered A2L and A3 refrigerants, and the webinar included a comparison of these refrigerants on an equivalent basis for single-door and three-door reach-in coolers.

View the webinar here.

Webinar 3 — Understanding Refrigerant Sensors

Webinar 3: Understanding Refrigerant Sensors
Wednesday, October 7, 2020

This session introduced the flammability risk mitigation concept using refrigerant sensors and reviewed the major differences in sensor requirements across key safety standards. Researchers presented ongoing efforts to evaluate a number of sensors using different sensing technologies.

View the webinar here.

Webinar 4 — Predictive Tools for Refrigerant Behaviors

Webinar 4: Predictive Tools for Refrigerant Behaviors
Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Scientists with Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the National Institute of Standards and Technology introduced their modeling tools and discussed with industry members the tools’ applicability to simulating refrigerant dispersions and predicting the burning velocity of refrigerant blends.

View the webinar here.

Webinar 5 — Refrigerant Ignition in Open Flame/Hot Surfaces: Has Anything Fundamentally Changed?

Webinar 5: Refrigerant Ignition in Open Flame/Hot Surfaces: Has Anything Fundamentally Changed?
Wednesday, October 21, 2020

This session reported on the ongoing research efforts and existing testing results to understand the implications of exposing fluorinated refrigerants to fire or hot surfaces as well as a comparison of legacy and low-GWP refrigerants relative to heat and gases generated in these events.

View the webinar here.

Webinar 6 — A2L Refrigerant Behavior in a Structure Fire

Webinar 6: A2L Refrigerant Behavior in a Structure Fire
Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Experts discussed the preliminary findings from AHRTI Project 8028 specifically designed to show how low-global warming potential refrigerants classified as “A2L” or “lower flammability” may behave in a structure fire. The project was used to develop a training program to educate fire and emergency professionals on the appropriate tactics for dealing with A2L refrigerants in a home or building.

View the webinar here.

For more information, contact:
AHRI Meeting Planner Lauren Miller at 703-600-0354 or

Webinar 7 — Refrigerant Detection Systems 101

Webinar 7: Refrigerant Detection Systems 101
Wednesday, March 24, 2021 | 04:00 PM EST (US and Canada)

Are you an HVACR technician or firefighter interested in learning more about the basics of refrigerant detection systems (RDS) being implemented in HVAC equipment? If so, please see the webinar, Refrigerant Detection Systems 101, where AHRI Senior Director of Regulatory Affairs Mary Koban led a panel of industry experts to explain what comprises an RDS, the function of an RDS in an HVAC system, how these systems are constructed per UL 60335-2-40, the importance of proper servicing and maintenance, and addressed a number of frequently asked questions.

View the webinar here.

For more information, contact:
AHRI Meeting Planner Lauren Miller at 703-600-0354 or

Webinar 8 — Servicing A2L Refrigerant Systems

Webinar 8: Servicing A2L Refrigerant Systems
Thursday, April 22, 2021

As the HVACR industry continues to move forward and innovate, it is phasing down the current commonplace refrigerants to those with a lower-global warming potential (GWP) – many of which are classified by ASHRAE A2L, or lower flammability. With numerous changes to building codes and industry standards to accommodate the safe use of these refrigerants, those working in the field need information on installing and servicing systems that will use them.

View the webinar here.