Appliance servicing

Refrigerants must be captured and not knowingly released into the atmosphere. This page provides information for technicians that service appliances that use CFCs, HCFCs and HFCs to ensure that these refrigerants are not released into the atmosphere. Technicians generally are required to be certified through an EPA-approved training program.

General requirements

The appliance servicing requirements can be found at the U.S. EPA's Web site.

Technician certification

Technicians that perform maintenance, service or repair that could be reasonably expected to release refrigerants into the atmosphere are required to possess certification obtained through a U.S. EPA-approved program. A list of approved programs is available by visiting the U.S. EPA's Web site.

Activities that would require certification include:

  1. Attaching and detaching hoses and gauges to and from the appliance to measure pressure within the appliance;
  2. adding refrigerant to or removing refrigerant from the appliance; and
  3. any other activity that violates the integrity of the refrigerant circuit while there is refrigerant in the appliance.

Four types of certifications are available. The type of certification required depends on the type of appliances serviced:

Type of appliances being serviced Type of certification required
Small appliances - Room air conditioners, refrigerators, freezers, and dehumidifiers Type I (can be obtained by taking a mail-in test)
High and very high-pressure appliances, except the appliances listed in Row 1 and motor vehicle air conditioners (MVACs) Type II (an on-site test must be taken)
Low-pressure appliances Type III (an on-site test must be taken)
Low, high, and very high-pressure appliances including those listed in Row 1. (This certification includes Type I, II, and III) Universal (an on-site test must be taken)

2016 extension of Section 608 regulations to HFCs

In 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection issued final rules under Section 608 of the Clean Air Act that updated then existing requirements related to ozone depleting substances, such as CFCs and HCFCs, and extended them to substitutes like HFCs, perfluorocarbons (PFCs) and hydrofluoroolefins (HFOs). Under these rule revisions, technicians must handle HFC, PFC and HFO refrigerants and appliances that contain HFC, PFC and HFO refrigerants in the same manner that they historically have handled ozone-depleting substances and appliances that contain ozone-depleting substances.