In 2020, World Refrigeration Day will celebrate the cold chain.

The theme celebrates the importance of the food cold chain in sustaining life. The cold chain links producers and growers across the world to the domestic refrigerator in our kitchens, and it is essential for so much more than food. Vaccines must remain chilled until they are used by medical professionals around the world, and the cold chain is essential for blood transfusions and organ donor transport and storage.

“In light of coronavirus, WREFD 2020 is transformed from a mainly physical event experience into a virtual and online one for WREFD20.  We encourage the industry to use the opportunity of World Refrigeration Day to raise awareness and understanding of the significant role that the industry, its science and its technology play in modern life and society, in a safe and responsible manner that is fully compliant with local restrictions and aligned to all safety measures. “
Join AIRAH on Friday, June 26 for our World Refrigeration Day event – the AIRAH Virtual Industry Showcase. This event brings together HVAC&R companies, professionals and practitioners. Explore the latest products and technologies from the industry; receive exclusive offers; participate in live Q&A sessions; and network with peers across Australia in this special one-day event. For more information, please click here

  World Refrigeration Day takes place annually on June 26.

First started in 2019, World Refrigeration Day raises the profile of the important contribution that refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pumps make globally across so many aspects of modern life.

From medical applications to food supply and farming, process engineering to data and IT, refrigeration technologies are essential and yet go widely unrecognised.
World Refrigeration Day provides a chance to acknowledge our industry’s history, recognise its essential role in our lives and envision its future. AIRAH is engaged in many year-round initiatives supporting the HVAC&R industry. This involves activities aimed at improving sector visibility and awareness, including presentations to primary school students about the invention of refrigeration, its climate impact and where it's headed. We’re taking World Refrigeration Day as an opportunity to expand on our outreach and highlight the wonderful world of heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (or HVAC&R as it’s often called) and share stories from our members and the industry. 

For more on World Refrigeration Day, visit the website or follow along with the hashtags #COLDCHAIN4LIFE, #WorldRefrigerationDay and #WREFD20.

What is HVAC&R?
Join AIRAH in promoting our hidden industry!

We've put together a two-page A4 flyer for World Refrigeration Day. We encourage you to share it with your networks to help get the word out about the HVAC&R industry, its importance and its opportunities.

Click here to download the What is HVAC&R? flyer

To explore training, resources and job opportunities in Australia's built environment, please visit our careers page.

  It can be easy to forget the enormous impact that HVAC&R has on our daily lives – especially if it’s working properly and you’re feeling comfortable.

Want to learn more? You’ve come to the right place! We’ve gathered some interesting icebreakers about the industry and its importance.

Over 298,000 Australians work in the HVAC&R industry.

James Harrison invented the first functioning refrigerator in the 1850s, right here in Australia! He reportedly used it to chill beer.

You used to have to light a flame to get your refrigerator to work.

Three billion people live in regions of the world where air conditioning is needed more than 300 days of the year.

The HVAC&R industry is valued at over $38 billion in Australia.

Electrolux had the first patent for a domestic refrigerator in 1922.

In May 2018, the International Energy Agency predicted the global stock of building air conditioning units will rise from 1.6 billion to 5.6 billion by 2050.

In the US, it’s more typical for a home to have an air conditioning unit than a dishwasher, garage or dining room.

Project Drawdown identified refrigerant management as the #1 solution to reverse global warming – ahead of solar energy and wind power!

In Pennsylvania, it’s illegal to sleep on top of an outdoor refrigerator.

HVAC&R accounts for 13% of our CO2 emissions.

In commercial refrigeration, a 2017 report revealed supermarkets to be the main users of refrigeration at 34%.

In Australia, HVAC&R uses 24% of all generated electricity.

The global market for air conditioning is valued at US$100 billion. It’s expected to grow four times that size by 2050.

HVAC&R systems use 39% of a typical office building’s energy.

In a common household, refrigeration accounts for about 10% of total electricity use.

Only a third of homes in the UK had a fridge by 1965. By comparison, it’s estimated that 94% of Australian households had a fridge by 1964.

Over 8 million refrigerators are sold each year in the US. About 800,000 are sold annually in Australia.

A third of all Australian homes have two or more fridges. NT, Qld and WA lead the national average.

In the early 1920s, you could buy one of the first domestic fridges for about US$600. Today, that would be about Au$13,000.


  AIRAH engages in ongoing outreach initiatives for the HVAC&R industry. From networking events to technical resources, find out more about them at the links below:  


World Refrigeration Day

An A4 poster to help promote World Refrigeration Day to university and TAFE students.
World Refrigeration Day

An A4 poster to help get the word out about World Refrigeration Day.

What is HVAC&R?

A two-page A4 flyer promoting the industry, why we need it and its career opportunities.

  Expand your knowledge of HVAC&R and learn more about the history of refrigeration, the future of the HFC phase-down and why it's so important for Earth's sustainability.

: On the History Channel's Aussie Inventions That Changed the World (2019), they looked at food preservation. Part of an eight-episode series highlighted accomplishments in Australian ingenuity, it highlighted the work of James Harrison, the pioneer of refrigeration.

Food preservation has been a major challenge throughout Australia’s history. In Victoria, James Harrison invented a process of refrigeration that could make artificial ice on a commercial scale. In New South Wales, Thomas Mort and Eugene Nicolle adapted and improved on Harrison’s technology to build the world’s first freezer works to produce artificially frozen food. In Western Australian, Arthur McCormick came up with the Coolgardie food safe that ran on evaporative cooling, and, in South Australia, Tom Angove invented the wine cask.

Click here to see the trailer for the series and click here to watch their discussion on food preservation.

: For World Refrigeration Day, we're sharing a special adaptation of our AIRAH on Air podcast. In this episode, we explore a global issue: the HFC phase-down. This is a worldwide effort to slow down climate change by reducing hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) – synthetic gases used in air conditioning and refrigeration that are thousands of times more powerful than carbon dioxide when it comes to global warming.

Regardless of your experience and knowledge of HFCs, you’ll want to tune in to learn about the environmental impact; why restrictions have been put in place; the flammability trade-off; and how the industry’s been adapting since the Australian HFC phase-down began in January 2018.

This episode of AIRAH on Air was adapted from "Low-down on the phase-down" (Ecolibrium, August 2018) and features Vince Aherne, F.AIRAH. To listen to more of our AIRAH on Air podcast, click here.

: In 2017, Project Drawdown identified refrigerant management as the number one solution in fixing global warming. For World Refrigeration Day, we've gone into the AIRAH archives to release our interview with American environmentalist Paul Hawken. Listen to it below.

    James Harrison (1816–1893) is the godfather of refrigeration. He was the first to create ice via mechanical means, laying the foundation for the Australian HVAC&R industry.

A Scotsman by birth and printer by trade, Harrison emigrated to Sydney in 1837. Following short stints with Tegg & Co’s Literary News and with the Sydney Herald, he later moved to Victoria – establishing the Geelong Advertiser in 1840 and becoming an inaugural member of the Geelong Council in 1850. A man of eclectic talents, skills and interests, Harrison had also long been intrigued by the science of refrigeration.

While cleaning the Geelong Advertiser’s movable type on printing presses with sulfuric ether, he realised the chemical could have other uses. This led to experimentation with the ether and a whorl coil, sourced from a heating apparatus. Through a partnership with blacksmith John Scott, he would later establish an ice works on the banks of the Barwon River at Rocky Point. 

For more on the man and his refrigeration pioneering, please click here. 

In recognition of his achievements, AIRAH presents the James Harrison Medal at the AIRAH Awards. It is the highest honour AIRAH can bestow upon an individual and recognises the highest levels of achievement in the Australian refrigeration and air conditioning industry. This award is judged on the nominee’s contributions within AIRAH’s sphere of interest and commitment to ongoing achievement and excellence. Nominations can only be made by a third party. It was first presented in 1972 to Dr James Vickery for his notable contributions to the science and practice of refrigeration in Australia, and many highly notable members of the industry have received the award since. 

Find out more about the AIRAH Awards here, and find out about the James Harrison Medal here.

AIRAH recognises James Harrison Day every April 17.
 Like World Refrigeration Day, it is an opportunity for those in the HVAC&R industry to bring attention to the importance of heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration across all aspects of our lives. We encourage individuals and companies working in the HVAC&R industry to celebrate. Click here for more information. 


For World Refrigeration Day, we asked some of our members to share their stories, explain the importance of the HVAC&R industry and let us know how they'll be celebrating the big day! Explore all their answers below.

Ben Adamson, F.AIRAH Jessica Allen, Affil.AIRAH Elis Balzan, Affil.AIRAH Patricia Bellotti, Affil.AIRAH
John Bourne, Affil.AIRAH Graham Boyle, F.AIRAH Jon Clarke, M.AIRAH Abraham Corona, M.AIRAH
Darron Febey, AM.AIRAH Dario Ferlin, M.AIRAH Massimo Fiorentini, Affil.AIRAH Alan Fok, M.AIRAH
Mikaila Ganado, M.AIRAH Ania Hampton, M.AIRAH Brett Hedge, M.AIRAH Paul Jackson, F.AIRAH
Stefan Jensen, F.AIRAH Sally King-Carmichael, M.AIRAH Lasath Lecamwasam, F.AIRAH Dennis Lee, Affil.AIRAH
Peter Mathieson, F.AIRAH Kevin Navarro, Affil.AIRAH Elizabeth Paparo, Affil.AIRAH Michael Riese, M.AIRAH
Jenny Smith, Affil.AIRAH James Spears, M.AIRAH Christopher Ward, M.AIRAH Dr Stephen White, F.AIRAH


Other voices from the industry

Jennah Wone Aakriti Bhandari Iain Campbell Sheila J. Hayter

Niusha Memarpouri

On June 26, the HVAC&R industry comes together to celebrate World Refrigeration Day.

Our friends at Woolworths put together a great video that captures the scale, scope, and enthusiasm for the world of refrigeration. Click here to watch it.

This year, Actrol, Reece HVAC, and Metalflex have taken their celebrations online with a social media competition and customer giveaways throughout the day.

HVAC manufacturer CAREL is also celebrating. They've started an awareness campaign around natural refrigerants, which you can see here.

To see more of what's going on in the industry, please visit HVAC&R News to read "Seven ways to celebrate World Refrigeration Day".

The team at World Refrigeration Day is also compiling a handy list of global activities. Check out their website for more information on what's going on in Australia and internationally.

Is your organisation hosting an event for World Refrigeration Day? Share the news and tell us about it at airah@airah.org.au or through FacebookLinkedIn and Twitter.

To get involved with #WREFD20, find some useful materials to help celebrate this year's topic – COLD CHAIN 4 LIFE – here.

For more information on World Refrigeration Day and AIRAH, please contact our national office on 03 8623 3000 or at airah@airah.org.au

AIRAH is the leading specialist membership association for heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVAC&R) professionals. Formed in 1920, join us in celebrating our Centenary and leading HVAC&R for 100 year. For more, please visit http://www.airah100.org.au