The home appliance industry is transitioning to the use of non-HFC refrigerants in refrigerators, freezers, ice makers, beverage coolers, room and portable air conditioners, and dehumidifiers. This transition will require service personnel to follow certain safety procedures when performing maintenance and repairs on these products.
The home appliance industry has already begun producing appliances that utilize these non-HFC refrigerants, which have a lower global warming potential. However, they also are flammable, which is why the new procedures are necessary.
The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) has developed a document to assist manufacturers and service personnel with adopting the proper safety procedures and precautions necessary to mitigate the potential hazards related to the higher flammability of the new refrigerants.
Safe Servicing of Household Appliances with Flammable Refrigerants: Recommended Practices includes guidance for a pre-service safety check, leak detection and coolant-line repair, recharge and replacement of refrigerants, refrigerant removal, and post-service procedures.
As these new refrigerants are introduced to the market, AHAM states it is critical that those who service and maintain appliances that incorporate these refrigerants are familiar with this new guidance.