Refrigerant Containment
ASHRAE Technical Committee 3.8

Scope of TC 3.8

TC 3.8 is concerned with methods of construction and service practices to maintain tight refrigeration systems and for storing and handling refrigerants in external containers. It is also concerned with leak detection, evacuation, and minimizing refrigerant emissions while servicing refrigerating systems.


The ASHRAE Handbook is published in a series of four volumes, one of which is revised each year, ensuring that no volume is older than four years.

REFRIGERATION: Refrigerant Containment, Recovery, Recycling, and Reclamation
Containment of refrigerant is an important consideration during service and maintenance of refrigeration systems. The potential environmental effect of chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) and hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) refrigerants on ozone depletion, and of these and hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants on global warming, make it imperative that refrigerants are confined to closed systems and recovered during service and at the end of life. Containment must be considered in all phases of a system’s life, including (1) design and construction of leak-tight and easily serviced systems, (2) leak detection and repair, (3) recovery during service, and (4) recovery system disposal. Additional reference can be found in ASHRAE Standard 147-2013.

The ASHRAE HVAC REFRIGERATION HANDBOOK may be purchased from the on-line bookstore by clicking on the highlighted text.

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Technical committees develop and sponsor technical sessions at the winter and annual conferences. Information about their future technical program is discussed at each TC meeting and at the TC’s Program Subcommittee meeting

ASHRAE publishes papers and transactions from presentations at its conference events. In addition, ASHRAE records most of the seminar sessions from its conferences on DVD. These DVDs are ideal for use at chapter meetings, in university courses, or company lunch and learns. Products available from the most recent conference may be found here.


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ASHRAE writes standards for the purpose of establishing consensus for: 1) methods of test for use in commerce and 2) performance criteria for use as facilitators with which to guide the industry. ASHRAE publishes the following three types of voluntary consensus standards: Method of Measurement or Test (MOT), Standard Design and Standard Practice. ASHRAE does not write rating standards unless a suitable rating standard will not otherwise be available. ASHRAE is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and follows ANSI's requirements for due process and standards development. Standards may be purchased at the ASHRAE Bookstore.

TC 3.8 is responsible for the following Standards:

ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 147: Reducing the Release of Halogenated Refrigerants from Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Equipment and Systems
ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 173: Method of Test to Determine the Performance of Halocarbon Refrigerant Leak Detectors
Proposed Standard: SPC 196P: Method of Test for Measuring Refrigerant Leak Rates


ASHRAE Technical FAQs are provided as a service to ASHRAE members, users of ASHRAE publications, and the general public. While every effort has been made to ensure their accuracy and reliability, they are advisory and provided for informational purposes only, and in many cases represent only one person's view. They are not intended and should not be relied on as an official statement of ASHRAE. Technical questions not addressed may be submitted to the ASHRAE Technical Services department at

Where can I get information on a refrigeration license?

Where do I get certified for refrigerant removal?

How do I get certified to remove and handle refrigerants?

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