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Updates To AHRI Guideline N Now in Effect
January 20, 2020

Significant changes to refrigerant container color protocol took effect January 1, as outlined in the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute’s (AHRI) Guideline N, Assignment of Refrigerant Container Colors. Guideline revisions, first published in 2015, specify that all refrigerant containers should have the same paint color, RAL 7044, to reduce confusion among similarly colored refrigerant containers. The change was implemented to ensure refrigerants will continue to be used correctly and safely. AHRI Guideline N previously stipulated that specific colors be used for refrigerant containers as an additional means of refrigerant identification. However, with the increased number of refrigerants approved for use and the respective increase in the number of colors assigned to these refrigerants, there was concern over the potential misidentification of similarly colored containers. More than half of respondents to an AHRI survey of refrigerant users found that container colors had caused confusion. This confusion was likely to increase as new refrigerants are added to the market.

The U.S. Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Title 49 for hazmat transportation regulations and CFR Title 29 for occupational safety and health regulations require that all hazardous material containers, including refrigerant cylinders and drums, be labeled to clearly identify the contents. These container labels and markings should always be used as the primary means of identification for hazardous materials, including refrigerants. AHRI will continue to assign PMS colors for printed materials only, including the label on containers and the outer packaging of DOT39 cylinders, the guideline still requires that all flammable refrigerants include a red band on the shoulder or top of the container. The changes do not apply to products already packaged. Guideline N is free to download from AHRI’s website.

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