Fluorinated gases or F-Gases, are used in the air-conditioning systems of cars and vans. Over a vehicle’s lifetime these gases can escape and since they are powerful greenhouse gases this raises environmental concerns. Additionally in older vehicles F-Gases are likely to be released from accidental gas leaks.
It is essential that you always use a qualified professional to undertake the safe removal and recovery of F-Gases.
A current qualification in refrigerant recovery and handling must be held by anyone who undertakes the service, repair or dismantling of vehicle air-conditioning equipment. The qualification should be from one of these recognised organisations:
In addition to professional UK qualifications you may also hold:
- a relevant in-house qualification issued by a UK employer after a course of training
- a full qualification issued by a recognised body from another EU member state
Any qualification held by anyone who handles or recovers refrigerants or F-Gases from vehicle air-conditioning systems must be recognised and meet minimum requirements.
Ozone depleting substances (ODS) including chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) are also commonly found in cars and vans produced before 1996. It is essential to comply with the ODS regulations. HCFC refrigerants should only ever be professionally and responsibly recovered by qualified operatives.
F-Gases and ODS
No maintenance work should be undertaken which breaks into a refrigerant circuit when the air conditioning is known to contain a chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) such as R12.
A specialist business should be employed to handle the disposal of vehicle equipment containing CFCs.
Restrictions on using F-gases in vehicles
- Unexpected refrigerant leaks from a vehicles’ air-conditioning system must be repaired before refilling
- Before refilling an air-conditioning system with F-Gas it is advised to check for possible leaks
- If retrofitting an air-conditioning system that uses an F-gas with a global warming potential (GWP); ensure that the vehicle has been approved by its’ manufacturer or a dealer
Information about F gas requirements for air conditioners in cars and other vehicles can be found on the site: