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ASHRAE and IIR Establish New Definitions of Five Refrigeration Keywords

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  • 11 Apr 2019
  • Refrigeration
  • Atlanta, GA

ASHRAE and IIR Establish New Definitions of Five Refrigeration Keywords

Media Contact:
Sherri Simmons

ATLANTA (Apr. 11, 2019) – ASHRAE and the International Institute of Refrigeration (IIR) announced the establishment of new definitions for five refrigeration keywords. The keywords are cooling, refrigeration, chilling, freezing and cold chain.

The definitions are the result of more than a year of discussions and were established to clarify the meaning of basic terminology used in the HVAC&R industry.

“The new definitions will help those within our industry, as well as the general public, gain a clearer understanding of important refrigeration keywords that are often misused or too broadly defined,” said 2018-2019 ASHRAE President Sheila J. Hayter, P.E. “We appreciate the contributions of IIR and anticipate that the adoption of these definitions will be positive.”

To avoid confusion, the official definitions are:
(1) Removal of heat, usually resulting in a lower temperature and/or phase change
(2) Lowering temperature

(1) Cooling of a space, substance or system to lower and/or maintain its temperature below the ambient one (removed heat is rejected at a higher temperature)
(2) Artificial cooling

Cooling of a substance without freezing it

Solidification phase change of a liquid or the liquid content of a substance, usually due to cooling

Cold Chain 
Series of actions and equipment applied to maintain a product within a specified low-temperature range from harvest/production to consumption

“It was important that the differences that might exist in these definitions between the IIR and ASHRAE be erased for more consistency. It now seems important for us to reach even greater harmonization on an international level to establish universal definitions,” said Jean-Luc Dupont, head of the Department of Scientific and Technical Information of the IIR.

IIR has called on all national and regional organizations and associations to adopt and disseminate the new definitions.  The definitions will be included in ASHRAE Terminology, its free comprehensive online glossary of more than 3,700 terms and definitions related to the built environment, with a focus on heating, ventilating, air conditioning, and refrigeration (HVAC&R), as well as building envelope, electrical, lighting, water and energy use, and measurement terms.

About the International Institute of Refrigeration (IIR)
The International Institute of Refrigeration (IIR) is an independent intergovernmental science and technology-based organization which promotes knowledge of refrigeration and associated technologies and applications on a global scale that improve quality of life in a cost effective and environmentally sustainable manner. Visit to learn more.

Founded in 1894, ASHRAE is a global leader in the advancement of human well-being through sustainable technology for the built environment. As an industry leader in research, standards writing, publishing, certification and continuing education, ASHRAE and its members are committed to shaping tomorrow’s built environment today through strategic partnerships with organizations in the HVAC&R community and across related industries. For more information and to stay up-to-date on ASHRAE, visit and connect on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.