Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland

Mobile air conditioning (cars and vans): F-gas controls

Mobile air conditioning units (vehicles)

There are legal controls on fluorinated greenhouse gases (F-gases) in mobile air conditioning (MAC) equipment in cars and light vans. These will affect your business if you:

  • manufacture cars or vans
  • supply MAC or refrigerant
  • maintain cars and vans
  • service MAC.

What you must do

Servicing and dismantling obligations

If you service and dismantle MAC systems already installed in vehicles, you must comply with a number of obligations.

Recover gases

Only appropriately qualified personnel must remove F-gases from MAC systems during maintenance and at the end of the vehicle's life to ensure the F-gases are recycled, reclaimed or destroyed. You must also recover residual F-gases from refillable and non-refillable containers to ensure they are recycled, reclaimed or destroyed.

Check and repair leaks

It is good practice to check for leaks in MAC systems regularly. If you find abnormal leakage you must not refill the system until the leak is repaired.

Don't use non-refillable containers

Use of non-refillable containers for transporting and storing F-gases is banned.

Have qualified personnel

Any personnel carrying out F-gas recovery from MAC equipment during servicing or dismantling must have an appropriate qualification.

GOV.UK: Managing f-gases and ODS - Mobile Air Conditioning

Your business must not take delivery of F-gas containers unless your personnel who recover gases are appropriately qualified. The person physically taking delivery of F-gas containers does not need to be qualified unless they also perform servicing, repair or recovery work.

New vehicle obligations

You must not sell new types of cars or light vans fitted with air-conditioning systems containing refrigerants with a global warming potential of more than 150.  From 2017 air conditioning in all new cars and vans must contain refrigerants with a global warming potential less than 150.

The key refrigerant affected is HFC-134a. It is also called Genetron 134a, HFA-134a, HFC-134a, Forane 134a, KLEA 134a, R-134a, Suva 134a and Norflurane.

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