US tackles flammables safety
USA: With the US home appliance industry now transitioning towards flammable refrigerants, one of the leading manufacturers’ groups has developed a guide to safe servicing.
The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) recognises that the move towards flammable refrigerants in refrigerators, freezers, ice makers, beverage coolers, room and portable air conditioners, and dehumidifiers will require service personnel to follow certain safety procedures.
Following changes to the EPA’s Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) programme begun in 2015, the US home appliance is already using, or planning to use, refrigerants like R600a (isobutane) and R290 (propane), and A2L refrigerants such as R32 and R452B. While these newer refrigerants have a lower global warming potential, they are also flammable.
AHAM says it has developed Safe Servicing of Household Appliances with Flammable Refrigerants: Recommended Practices 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. The document 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.