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What HVAC Technicians Need to Know About EPA 608 Certification

There are many different types of certifications that are available to those in the HVAC industry. Some HVAC certifications are optional and can help you improve your skill set and appeal when pursuing new jobs and eventually starting your own business. Others are mandatory, meaning you are not allowed to practice heating and cooling installation and repair without them.

One of the most important certifications that falls into that second category is the EPA 608 Certification. If you have been around HVAC for any amount of time or done any amount of research into beginning your career as a technician, there is a good chance you have heard of this all-important certification. 

This certification is required for every technician to demonstrate that technicians have the knowledge and ability to safely maintain, service, repair, or dispose of refrigerant-containing equipment in order to help preserve and protect the environment.

Since this certification is so important to every professional in the HVAC industry, it is important that you know the ins, outs, and everything in between that you need to know to acquire, maintain, and adhere to the necessary regulations.

The Basics of EPA 608 Certification

Refrigerant is an essential component in the kind of heating and cooling equipment that is worked with and on every day by heating and cooling technicians. However, over the years it has been found that refrigerant is a major contributor to the buildup of Greenhouse Gases, contributing to many environmental problems including climate change.  

In order to combat the unsafe distribution of this potentially hazardous material into the environment, in the early 1990’s the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) took measures to hold those that work with the material accountable. As part of an amendment to The Clean Air established in the 1960’s, EPA regulations 40 CFR Part 82, Subpart F under Section 608 established a mandate that anyone who maintains, services, repairs, or disposes of refrigerant-containing equipment must be certified to do so. 

What Certifications Do You Need?

The EPA 608 Certification actually isn’t just a single certification you need to obtain. Depending on who you are and what equipment you will be working with, there are actually separate certifications available that you may have to obtain.

The varying types of certification are dependent upon the size of the equipment you will be working on in your line of work and the level of pressure the appliances are. Here is the gamut of EPA certifications. 

  1. For servicing small appliances (Type I).
  2. For servicing or disposing of high- or very high-pressure appliances, except small appliances and MVACs (Type II).
  3. For servicing or disposing of low-pressure appliances (Type III).
  4. For servicing all types of equipment (Universal).

Achieving the Universal level ensures you are certified in every type of equipment and as well-rounded of an HVAC technician as possible. Fortunately, once you have obtained your certification you will never have to take the test again. The certification never expires and never has to be renewed.

What is on the EPA 608 Certification Test?

The EPA 608 Certification test consists of 25 questions for each of the four certification levels, for a total of 100 questions. The questions asked are multiple choice questions and cover all of the information covered in your HVAC class. 

To get an idea of what the certification test looks like and the kinds of questions that will be asked, you can look at this practice test.

How Can You Prepare?

This required certification is mandatory to practice HVAC installation and repairs, so it is important that you are well-prepared and ready for the test. That is why the EPA 608 Certification is an area thoroughly covered in the Training Center for Heating and Air Conditioning’s curriculum. 

In fact, every student who graduates from our training program will leave with EPA 608 Certification along with their certificate of completion from the school. Our program will cover everything you will need to know in order to be successful on the certification exam and will provide you with text materials and hands-on instruction for safely handling refrigerant-containing equipment. You can also find a copy of the EPA’s open book manual here.

Want to begin your HVAC career with a training program that will thoroughly prepare you for the all-important EPA 608 Certification? Check out our upcoming schedule of classes and ask us how to get started today.