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International Code Groups Push Early Adoption of Lower-Emission Refrigerants

Sept. 8, 2022
As 2024 deadline looms for federal HFC phasedown, time is now for state and local governments to act to permit A2L refrigerants and to promote necessary training.


Washington, DC, August 30, 2022 – A broad coalition of industry, environmental, governmental and code development organizations encourage early adoption by states and localities of the 2024 International Building Code (IBC), International Fire Code (IFC) and International Mechanical Code (IMC), which now permit the use of A2L refrigerants.

The recently approved code changes allow commercial and residential use of A2L refrigerants to replace high global warming potential (GWP) hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants.

The supply of HFCs, commonly used in refrigeration and air conditioning, will decrease 40% in 2024 due to the bipartisan American Innovation and Manufacturing Act (AIM Act) of 2020  and the corresponding Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rule that mandate a phasedown in GWP refrigerants by 2036. Most of the remaining supply will be used to service existing equipment currently installed in homes and businesses. The 2024 I-Code changes facilitate compliance with these requirements and support producers and refrigerant appliance manufacturers already transitioning to lower-GWP solutions such as A2Ls.

“State and local governments need to act now to enable next-generation refrigerants before older options get phased out,” said Matt Sigler, the Code Council’s PMG Executive Director. “The Code Council stands ready to partner with the construction industry to help them best navigate this positive change.”

  • Listen to our July/August cover story podcast on this topic with ICC's Jim Cika here.

Several major organizations, including the Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), provided more than 7 million dollars to research and field test new, low GWP refrigerants, determining the A2L refrigerants are safe and effective replacements for the HFCs currently in use.

“We are very pleased with the Code Council’s support towards the use of next-generation refrigerants in vital HVACR equipment,” said AHRI President & CEO Stephen Yurek. “The entire supply chain must be ready for the 2024 reduction in supply. We are hopeful that this action, which validates the critical AHRI research into these new refrigerants, will spur states and localities to update their codes on an urgent basis to enable their use.”

Here are a few things jurisdictions should do right now:

“It is very encouraging to see the ICC’s great progress in adopting updated model codes for alternative refrigerants,” said Christina Theodoridi, Senior Policy Analyst for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). “This is a critical step to enable climate-friendly cooling in our homes, office buildings, schools, supermarkets and more. Our work isn’t done yet. State and local code officials shouldn’t waste any time adopting the new codes in their respective jurisdictions.”

“Jurisdictions that adopt ICC codes can be confident that their citizens are protected by the best and most up-to-date standards. We applaud the way ICC has embraced technology-neutral, cost-effective climate friendly refrigerant alternatives,” said Kristen Taddonio, Senior Climate and Energy Advisor for the Institute for Governance of Sustainable Development (IGSD).

Additional organizations supporting the AIM Act and its implementation include the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers, and the American Chemistry Council. 


About ICC

The International Code Council is the leading global source of model codes and standards and building safety solutions. Code Council codes, standards, and solutions are used to ensure safe, affordable, and sustainable communities and buildings worldwide. For more information, contact Donna Campbell, [email protected].

About AHRI

The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) is the trade association representing manufacturers of air conditioning, heating, commercial refrigeration, and water heating equipment. An internationally recognized advocate for the industry, AHRI develops standards for and certifies the performance of many of these products. AHRI’s 300+ member companies manufacture quality, efficient, and innovative residential and commercial air conditioning, space heating, water heating, and commercial refrigeration equipment and components for sale in North America and around the world.