Since 1993, training and certification have been mandatory for all technicians working with motor vehicle air conditioning, or MVAC. These initiatives were established as part of EPA regulations under Section 609 of the Clean Air Act, to reduce the negative impact of air conditioning systems on the ozone layer.
Preparing for Certification
You can obtain the materials to prepare for the Section 609 certification by downloading them from training and certification websites such as EPA Test.com or ASE Campus. They can also be mailed in paper format to your address. The manuals give details about the effect of refrigerants on the environment, ozone depletion, EPA regulations, and explanations of how to properly test and maintain air conditioning systems. You will also learn about the types of chemicals used for air conditioning, the safe handling of refrigerants, and chemical recovery and recycling.
Taking the Certification Tests
EPA Section 609 certification tests are relatively brief quizzes that you may take online or with hard copy materials via regular mail. The open book test consists of 25 multiple choice questions. You must answer 21 questions correctly to pass. Test prices vary by training organization; at the time of publication, the EPATest.com price was $19.95 and the ASE Campus test cost $19. If you fail the certification quiz, you may retake the test as many times as needed. Some organizations reduce the cost of taking the test a second time while others charge the same amount regardless of how many times you take the test.