Skip Navigation Links Resources > Technical Resources

Technical Resources


AIRAH has put together a range of technical resources over the years. 


Flammable Refrigerants Safety Guide 2013


This is an industry guide on managing the health and safety risks associated with the safe design, manufacture, supply, installation, conversion, commissioning, operation, maintenance, decommissioning, dismantling and disposal of refrigeration and air conditioning equipment and systems that use a flammable refrigerant. This industry guide is required because of the increasing demand for flammable refrigerants due to their low-GWP characteristics. Hydrocarbon refrigerants are broadly available in Australia and various flammable synthetic fluorocarbon refrigerants are available, or are expected to be available, in the near future.

This industry guide applies to anyone who has a duty of care in the circumstances described. Like regulations, industry guides deal with particular issues and do not cover all hazards or risks which may arise. The health and safety duties require duty holders to consider all risks associated with work, not only those for which regulations, codes of practice, and industry guides exist.

Download the Flammable Refrigerants Safety Guide. 

Watch the video Introduction to AIRAH's Flammable Refrigerants Safety Guide on YouTube.

Download a copy of the presentation from AIRAH's free seminar series, "How to safely apply flammable refrigerants", facilitated by Kevin Lee, M.AIRAH.

Download the Flammable Refrigerants Safety Guide Fact Sheets


Victorian Code of Practice - Ammonia Refrigeration 2011


This Ammonia Refrigeration Code of Practice is the culmination of two years work by a dedicated Ammonia Taskforce including regulatory bodies, fire services, end users, suppliers, design engineers and contractors. Although this code of practice is Victorian based as far as the state regulations go, it can easily be integrated in any state by substituting their state regulations at the beginning of the document. This informative and thorough code of practice covers all Australian Standards. It will also be amended once the AS1677.2 is revised and again when any national regulations are introduced.

The code covers the following topics:

  • Safety requirements for design and modification
  • Hazard identification, risk assessment and controls
  • Emergency planning
  • Maintenance
  • Placarding (identification) signage
  • Personal protective equipment
  • Detection systems
  • Training
  • Auditing

Download the Victorian Code of Practice - Ammonia Refrigeration 2011 below:


Back to top


AIRAH Refrigerant Selection Guide 2003



This guide includes information for designers and contractors in the refrigeration and air conditioning industry that assists in judgements on environmental issues and the effect refrigerants and systems can have on the environment.  This document briefly explains the differences between ozone depletion and global warming and the impact these two distinctly different processes have on the environment.

This document covers CFC (chlorofluorocarbon), HCFC (hydrochlorofluorocarbon), HFC (hydrofluorocarbon) and natural refrigerants and their allocated ASHRAE or ISO numbers.  Further alternatives may be included when testing and safety requirements have been addressed in the applicable Australian Standards and Codes.  This guide provides a better understanding of alternative refrigerants and system performance effects resulting from the use of refrigerants that have little or no effect on the ozone layer and a minimal impact on global warming.

Download the AIRAH Refrigerant Guide 2003 below.


Back to top


Refrigerant handling code of practice


Australia and New Zealand Refrigerant Handling Code of Practice 2007


The Australia and New Zealand Refrigerant Handling Code of Practice 2007 has replaced the HB40 series of codes of good practice in Table 135 of the Australian Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Regulations 1995, making compliance with them mandatory for anyone holding a refrigerant handling licence or refrigerant trading authorisation as of January 1, 2008.

The code has been written by AIRAH, with funding from both the Australian and New Zealand Governments, and will apply to all systems which use fluorocarbon refrigerants. It is supplied in two parts.

Part one covers self-contained low charge systems: those systems which don’t require any work on the refrigeration circuit to install, and contain less than two kilograms of fluorocarbon refrigerant.

Part two of the code covers all other stationary and transport refrigeration and air conditioning systems. (Automotive air conditioning systems are covered by a separate code, prepared by the automotive industry).

Download the codes for free by following the links below:


Back to top


Natural Refrigerants case studies


Information and case studies for Australian businesses

Much of the refrigeration and air conditioning equipment in Australia uses fluorocarbon refrigerants to facilitate the heat transfer process. Fluorocarbon refrigerants are synthetic chemicals which usually have a high global warming potential, and some still have the potential to cause damage to the ozone layer as well if released to the atmosphere.

Alternatives to these chemicals exist that can help to mitigate some of the environmental risks. Often referred to as ‘natural’ refrigerants because the substances also occur in nature, these alternatives include ammonia, carbon dioxide and hydrocarbons.

These substances have been used as refrigerants for many years, however, they are now finding their way into applications where previously fluorocarbons were the preferred option.

This document has been put together to provide industry decision makers with more information on the potential of ‘natural’ refrigerants. It includes an overview of each of the alternatives, case studies on how they’ve been put to use in Australia, and pointers to some sources of further information.

The case studies are written in plain English, and attempt to give a realistic picture of how alternatives to fluorocarbon refrigerants were used in each case — the advantages they provided, the challenges that needed to be overcome, and the drivers behind each project.

The Natural Refrigerants case studies have been prepared by AIRAH with funding from the Department of Environment and Water Resources.




Download the Natural Refrigerants case studies below: