Call to action to adopt 5 internationally established refrigeration terms!

All professionals in the field of low-temperature technologies are called and are strongly encouraged to strictly adhere to the internationally established and approved definitions, by the International Institute of Refrigeration and the ASHRAE, of the following words: cooling, refrigeration, chilling, freezing and cold chain.

Last year, a group of experts from the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) and the International Institute of Refrigeration (IIR) came together to establish universal definitions of five essential terms characterising the refrigeration sector.


The IIR calls on all national refrigeration organisations and associations, as well as all HVACR professionals to adopt and disseminate these five key definitions across their publications and activities!


5 fundamental terms of refrigeration


  • Cooling
  1. Removal of heat, usually resulting in a lower temperature and/or phase change.
  2. Lowering temperature.
  • Refrigeration
  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.
  • Chilling  

Cooling of a substance without freezing it.

  • Freezing

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.


Download the flyer


The IIR International Dictionary of Refrigeration

These five terms can be found in the IIR International Dictionary of Refrigeration.

The Dictionary contains more than 4,300 words in all fields of refrigeration - including air conditioning – as well as their translations in 11 languages.


Consult the Dictionary