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E – 1878 Refrigerant Safety in HVAC Systems

Intended Audience: HVAC Engineers



American Society of Heating Refrigerant and Air conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) defines a set of minimum requirements to keep personnel safe while working with refrigerants or working inside mechanical rooms or any area in a building where refrigerants are used.

This course discusses two important standards:

  • ASHRAE 34, Designation and Safety Classification of Refrigerants, describes a shorthand way of naming refrigerants and assigns safety classifications to refrigerants based on toxicity and flammability data.
  • ASHRAE 15, Safety Standard for Refrigeration Systems, establishes procedures for safe design, construction, installation, and operation of refrigerating systems.

All new machinery rooms containing refrigerant equipment and the occupied spaces containing direct expansion (DX) type refrigeration system such as Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) system must be designed to comply with ASHRAE 15. This standard is also applicable to all current machinery rooms whenever new mechanical equipment is installed or current mechanical equipment is retrofitted.

This 5-hour course discusses the potential dangers of refrigerants and provides information on the precautionary guidelines laid out in ASHRAE Standards 15 to prevent any accidents from occurring in your facility.

It is important to note that the compliance with the ASHRAE Std 15 is mandatory. Failing to equip, train and protect personnel working in chiller machinery rooms and building occupants from the potential hazards of refrigerant gas leaks is a serious matter that can lead to civil or criminal penalties.

Learning Objectives:

At the successful conclusion of this course, you will learn the following knowledge and skills:

  • Understand the health hazards and safety precautions on working with refrigerants.
  • Understand the uniform system for assigning refrigerant numbers and safety classifications for refrigerants.
  • Understand the occupancy classifications that consider the ability of people to respond to potential exposure to refrigerant.
  • Understand the system classification according to the degree of probability that a leakage of refrigerant will enter occupancy‐classified areas.
  • Understand the Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) systems, the validation procedure and the corrective actions to comply with ASHRAE Standards 15 and 34.
  • Understand the ventilation and purge requirements of mechanical room housing the refrigeration equipment.
  • Understand the gas detectors and monitors requirements of mechanical room housing the refrigeration equipment.
  • Understand the selection requirement of vent piping, pressure limiting devices and refrigerant piping.

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