Online Prep Course for CFC Universal Certification


CFC Universal exam preparation to take the EPA Section 608 and achieve the Universal certification.

The CFC Universal Exam Prep course teaches the student the dates, terminology, rules and regulations necessary to be prepared to take and pass the EPA CFC Section 608 certification test.  This mandatory certification is necessary to be able to purchase and handle refrigerants in the United States and any other country that is a participant in the Montreal Protocol.  Without the Universal CFC certification it is NOT possible to legally purchase refrigerant or provide service on an air conditioning system.  Please note that this online prep course does not include the cost of the actual EPA CFC certification test.  Upon successful conclusion of the course the student will be provided a toll-free number to obtain information on the testing dates and location of the nearest testing center.

Learn Objectives:

  • Learn Important Dates
  • Become familiar with the Terminology
  • Review Rules
  • Learn Regulations needed to legally purchase refrigerant or to service an air conditioning unit

In order to ensure the proper handling and recycling of refrigerant and waste materials, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires certification in addition to training. The chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) certification process consists of a single course that lasts between five and eight hours, which can be offered through colleges and universities across the nation. This course covers a variety of topics related to refrigeration and prepares students to take a certification exam.

Environmental Impacts

  • Destruction of ozone by chlorine
  • Presence of chlorine in chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) and hydrochlorofluorocarbonhydrochlorofluorocarbonA compound consisting of hydrogen, chlorine, fluorine, and carbon. The HCFCs are one class of chemicals being used to replace the CFCs. They contain chlorine and thus deplete stratospheric ozone, but to a much lesser extent than CFCs. HCFCs have ozone depletion potentials (ODPs) ranging from 0.01 to 0.1. Production of HCFCs with the highest ODPs are being phased out first, followed by other HCFCs. A table of ozone-depleting substances shows their ODPs, GWPs, and CAS numbers. HCFCs are numbered according to a standard scheme . (HCFC) refrigerants
  • Identification of CFC, HCFC, and hydrofluorocarbonhydrofluorocarbonA compound consisting of hydrogen, fluorine, and carbon. The HFCs are a class of replacements for CFCs. Because they do not contain chlorine or bromine, they do not deplete the ozone layer. All HFCs have an ozone depletion potential of 0. Some HFCs have high GWPs. HFCs are numbered according to a standard scheme. (HFC) refrigerants (not chemical formulas, but idea that R-12 is a CFC, R-22 is an HCFC, R-134 is an HFC, etc.)
  • Idea that CFCs have higher ozone-depletion potential (ODPODPA number that refers to the amount of ozone depletion caused by a substance. The ODP is the ratio of the impact on ozone of a chemical compared to the impact of a similar mass of CFC-11. Thus, the ODP of CFC-11 is defined to be 1.0. Other CFCs and HCFCs have ODPs that range from 0.01 to 1.0. The halons have ODPs ranging up to 10. Carbon tetrachloride has an ODP of 1.2, and methyl chloroform’s ODP is 0.11. HFCs have zero ODP because they do not contain chlorine. A table of all ozone-depleting substances shows their ODPs, GWPs, and CAS numbers.) than HCFCs, which in turn have higher ODP than HFCs
  • Understanding of the atmospheric effects from the types of refrigerants
  • Health and environmental effects of stratospheric ozone depletion
  • Evidence of stratospheric ozone depletion and role of CFCs and HCFCs

Clean Air Act and Montreal Protocol

  • CFC phaseout date
  • R-22 phaseout date
  • Venting prohibition at servicing
  • Venting prohibition at disposal
  • Venting prohibition on substitute refrigerants
  • Maximum penalty under the Clean Air ActClean Air ActA law amended by Congress in 1990. Title VI of the CAA directs EPA to protect the ozone layer through several regulatory and voluntary programs. Sections within Title VI cover production of ozone-depleting substances (ODS), the recycling and handling of ODS, the evaluation of substitutes, and efforts to educate the public.
  • Montreal ProtocolMontreal ProtocolThe international treaty governing the protection of stratospheric ozone. The Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer and its amendments control the phaseout of ODS production and use. Under the Montreal Protocol, several international organizations report on the science of ozone depletion, implement projects to help move away from ODS, and provide a forum for policy discussions. In addition, the Multilateral Fund provides resources to developing nations to promote the transition to ozone-safe technologies. The full text of the Montreal Protocol is available from the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP). (the international agreement to phase out production of ozone-depleting substances)

Section 608 Regulations

  • Definition/identification of high and low-pressure refrigerants
  • Definition of system-dependent versus self-contained recovery/recycling equipment
  • Identification of equipment covered by the rule (all air-conditioning and refrigeration equipment containing CFCs or HCFCs except motor vehicle air conditioners)
  • Need for third-party certification of recycling and recovery equipment
  • Standard for reclaimed refrigerant [Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) Standard 700-2016]
  • The sales restriction
  • The Clean Air Act prohibition on venting

Substitute Refrigerants and oils

  • Absence of “drop-in” replacements
  • Incompatibility of substitute refrigerants with many lubricants used with CFC and HCFC refrigerants and incompatibility of CFC and HCFC refrigerants with many new lubricants (includes identification of lubricants for given refrigerants, such as esters with R-134; alkylbenzenes for HCFCs)
  • Fractionation problem–tendency of different components of blends to leak at different rates


  • Refrigerant states (vapor versus liquid) and pressures at different points of refrigeration cycle; how/when cooling occurs
  • Refrigeration gauges (color codes, ranges of different types, proper use)
  • Leak Detection

Three R Definitions

  • Recover
  • Recycle
  • Reclaim

Recovery Techniques

  • Need to avoid mixing refrigerants
  • Factors affecting speed of recovery (ambient temperature, size of recycling or recovery equipment, hose length and diameter, etc.)

Dehydration Evacuation

  • Need to evacuate system to eliminate air and moisture at the end of service


  • Risks of exposure to refrigerant (e.g., oxygen deprivation, cardiac effects, frost bite, long-term hazards)
  • Personal protective equipment [gloves, goggles, self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA)-in extreme cases, etc.]
  • Reusable (or “recovery”) cylinders versus disposable cylinders [ensure former Department of Transportation (DOT) approved, know former’s yellow and gray color code, never refill latter]
  • Risks of filling cylinders more than 80 percent full
  • Use of nitrogen rather than oxygen or compressed air for leak detection
  • Use of pressure regulator and relief valve with nitrogen


  • Labels required for refrigerant cylinders (refrigerant identification, DOT classification tag)


1. CFC Course Instructions and Materials 30 min

2. CFC Core Part A 40 min
CFC Core Part B 40 min
CFC Core Practice Quiz 5 questions

3. CFC Type I 30 min
CFC Type I Practice Quiz 5 questions

4. CFC Type II 30 min
CFC Type II Practice Quiz 5 questions

5. CFC Type III 40 min
CFC Type III Practice Quiz 5 questions


Course Content

Total learning: 6 lessons / 4 quizzes Time: 10 weeks


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Julio Herrera is the co-founder of AirCon Academy and an experienced vocational technical skills instructor for over 30 years.

In 1979 Julio enlisted in the US NAVY where he acquired necessary skills in maintaining and servicing various types of air conditioning systems, air handlers, chillers, hydraulics/pneumatics systems, pumps, and boilers.

After the Navy, Julio made a decision to continue his career as a building engineer with Washington Metropolitan Air Transit Authority (WMATA) where he developed a passion for teaching. He felt strongly about sharing and passing his knowledge to others and taught HVAC systems, Refrigeration, Electrical Motors, Schematics, Basic Electricity, and Heat Pumps, as well, as prep courses for CFC Universal and R410-A and other refrigerants to over 9,000 students during his teaching career.

Julio Herrera believes that the online technical skills training school without walls “AirCon Academy” will provide the opportunity to learn HVAC trade to everyone, any place, any time, on any device.

“I enjoy teaching and seeing how information and knowledge which I give to my students, changes their confidence at a work place, enhances careers, and improves their financial state. I am proud of my students who are now owners of HVAC companies, directors of building engineering, or just extraordinary HVAC professionals who can troubleshoot the equipment, fix it if needed, and suggest improvements to it’s maintenance”

Julio Herrera


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