HVAC technicians work with often-dangerous acids and refrigerants, which can harm both people and the environment. To ensure proper training, the EPA requires all HVAC technicians have proper certifications. In addition to being a federal requirement, building owners concerned with the efficiency and energy conservation of their HVAC increasingly list EPA certifications as requirements for employment.
What is EPA Certification?
Several EPA certifications apply to HVAC positions. They include:
– EPA Section 608 Technical Certification
– EPA 609 Technical Certification
– R-410A Technical Certification
– Indoor Air Quality Certification
– PM Technical Certification
– Green HVAC/R Certification.
The certification you receive determines which equipment you can work with.
How to Get EPA Certification
How to get EPA certification is not a complicated process. First, you need to take an EPA certification course, after which you take the appropriate EPA exam to earn your actual certification. Below are descriptions of each certification to help you select the right program for your needs.
EPA Section 608 Technical Certification
Designed for those working on building air conditioners and refrigeration systems, EPA Section 608 Technical Certification actually includes four certifications:
Type 1: for those who maintain, service, and / or repair small appliances
Type 2: for the maintenance, service, repair, and disposal of high to very high-pressure equipment, except for small appliances and vehicle air conditioning.
Type 3: for the maintenance, service, repair, and disposal of low-pressure equipment.
Universal Certification: covers all requirements of Type 1,2, and 3 certifications.
EPA 609 Technical Certification
The EPA 609 technical certification is designed for individuals who work with motor vehicle air conditioning systemsand includes an overview of regulatory requirements and proper refrigerant recovery. Successfully passing the EPA exam also allows certification holders to purchase refrigerants.
R-401A Technical Certification
Successful completion of EPA Section 608 certifications is required for those considering R-401A certification, which requires an existing understanding of basic air conditioning and refrigeration system installation and focuses, as the name suggests, on working with R-401A equipment.
Indoor Air Quality Certification
Successful completion of the Indoor Air Quality exam allows individuals to service, clean, and inspect HVAC systems.
PM Technical Certification
Like R-401A, a PM technical certification requires a preexisting Section 608 certification. The PM certification allows individuals to work with acid and moisture detection systems, water removal, coil maintenance, and more.
Green HVAC/R Certification
The EPA does not require the green HVAC/R certification, but the optional certification is in demand as building owners increasingly switch to green HVAC systems. The certification teaches the importance of energy conservation for HVAC systems.