You will see many websites offering Free EPA 608 Type 1 study guides and certification tests online. This certification is useless for the HVAC technician. Type 1 is limited to appliances containing 5 pounds or less of refrigerant. This certification is for household type refrigerators, freezers and window AC units.
In order to purchase refrigerant for stationary air conditioners you must hold a Type 2 or universal certification. Type 2 covers high pressure systems which include most modern air conditioners except the large low pressure chillers found in high rise buildings and covered by Type 3. High pressure air conditioners most use refrigerants such as R22 or R410A.
In order to service larger commercial refrigeration systems such as walk-in coolers, walk-in freezers and grocery store display cases you need a type 2 or universal certification.
Universal Certification covers Type 1, Type 2 and Type 3. All certifications require that you pass a basic “core” exam that includes information common to all the exams.
If you are certified in section 608, you can only purchase regulated refrigerants in 20 pound containers or larger.
EPA does not require separate certification for the newer and higher pressure refrigerants such as R410A. Certification is offered by some companies, but is not required.
EPA does not require certification in “Indoor Air Quality” or “green” or “PM” technology.
Section 609 of the EPA regulations covers automotive refrigerants. If you plan to service automotive air conditioning, you will need a section 609 certification. Under this program you can purchase regulated refrigerants in containers under 20 pounds.
Exams for type 2, 3 or universal cannot be taken online.
Good luck with your EPA Certification and welcome to the HVAC industry!
ICE Testing for HVAC Training
The “Industry Competency Exam”, ICE exam, will test for competency levels in an entry level tech with up to one year experience. The exam is widely used by over 300 technical schools. Many AC Contractors are requiring the exam to gauge the knowledge of applicants and existing techs.
AC manufacturers and contractors review the content and questions annually to keep the material current. There are three different exams:
• Residential HVAC under 5 tons. The Core exam is taken first to qualify the student for the other five sections including air distribution, air conditioning, heat pumps, gas heating and oil heating.
• Commercial HVAC up to 20 tons
• Commercial Refrigeration
Each of the three exams consists of 100 multiple choice questions. The student receives a review of the subjects passed and failed for use as a future training aid.
The ICE exam is also useful as a pre test before beginning the NATE Certification process. NATE exams are a series of tests that verify that the technician has the knowledge most HVAC Companies feel the average HVAC technician should possess. The exam also indicates the areas the tech needs additional training.
NATE offers certifications in the following specialties for both Service Techs and Installers. Those passing the service tech exams also qualify for the installer certifications:
• Air Conditioning
• Air Distribution
• Gas Heating
• Heat Pumps
• Oil Heating
• Hydronics Gas
• Hydronics Oil
• Light Commercial Refrigeration
• Commercial Refrigeration
• HVAC Efficiency Analyst
Students must first pass a 50 question core exam covering:
• Soft Skills
• Principles of Heat Transfer
• Total Comfort
The specialty exam consist of 100 questions and allow a maximum 4 hours. Most students should be able to take the core and one specialty in a single exam sitting. Students can retake an exam after a 30 day waiting period.