IEC AC Standards Proposal

Timely updates to outdated safety standards and building codes are essential to enable a safe transition from climate-warming hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) to climate-friendly refrigerants. With global stock of household air-conditioners (ACs) expected to triple by 2050, continued use of HFCs in ACs is fueling the climate crisis.

The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) is considering an updated safety standard IEC 60335-2-40, which covers household ACs, heat pumps and dehumidifiers. The proposed updated safety requirements will enable safe, energy-efficient and cost-effective design of ACs using flammable low-global warming potential (GWP) refrigerants, including propane (R290) and other refrigerants classified as either A2L, A2, or A3.

The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) urges member countries on IEC’s sub-committee 61D to submit positive votes and comments on 61D/455/CDV Fragment 1 by the 30 October deadline in support of advancing the draft proposal for a final round of voting and publication in 2021.

This briefing contains key information on the proposal, IEC’s standards process and timeline and the climate benefits of enabling a timely transition to low-GWP refrigerants in the AC sector.