The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) now requires all people with access to a system or container that stores refrigerant, including A/C coolant such as R-22 or R-410A, to have the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 608 certification. HVAC technicians cannot legally buy refrigerants without this credential. There are three types of certification available, and contractors must pass a written examination to gain this credential.
The first level of this HVAC certification allows a technician to handle small appliances containing less than 5 pounds of refrigerant, such as window air conditioning units. The second allows technicians to handle products containing high pressure refrigerants. Type-three certification allows a technician to handle products containing low-pressure refrigerant.
What certifications do you look for when hiring an HVAC contractor? Tell us about it in the comments below.
Editor's note: This is an updated version of an article originally published on Oct. 1, 2012.