This one is a bit tricky. If we travel back in time to before 2018 then no, you did not need a license to purchase R-134a cylinders. However, as of January 1st, 2018 you WILL need to be certified to purchase HFC refrigerants such as 410A, 134a, and 404A. Click this link for the exact wording from the EPA’s website. As I write this post in March of 2018 I can safely say that this new regulation has caused a lot of upset across the industry. No longer can the do-it-yourselfers purchase thirty pound cylinders of R-134a. No, now in order to purchase you have to be 609 certified with the Environmental Protection Agency.
It should be noted that there are some exceptions to this rule. The first is that if you provide a signed document with your address, phone, and business stating that you will resell the R-134a product and that you will not use it then you can still purchase. This is known as a certificate of resale. The other work around is that you are still able to purchase 134a cans that come in under two pounds. So, while you can’t get your thirty pound cylinders anymore you can still get the product just in a much smaller quantity. I usually recommend purchasing these cans from our Amazon partner. You can see their R-134a can selection by clicking here.
While R-134a does not contain Chlorine like previously banned refrigerants such as R-12 and R-22, 134a does have an extremely high Global Warming Potential, or GWP. GWP is a measurement of how potent a gas is when released into the atmosphere. These gases are known as greenhouse gases. 134a has an extremely high GWP number of one-thousand four-hundred and thirty. What that means is that 134a is over one-thousand times more potent to the climate then Carbon Dioxide.