California Regulatory Information for Consumers

Under California guidelines signed into law in January 2009, any manufacturer or marketer of “small cans” of refrigerant must be certified by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) in order to sell the product in the state. The certification requirements include compliant containers with self-sealing valves, new consumer usage instructions, and an approved used can deposit and recycling program.

IDQ was the first manufacturer to receive certification from CARB to sell small containers of automotive refrigerant in California. Use the links below for additional information regarding the guidelines for both consumers and distributors:

The Basics: Helpful Hints and Tips for Recharging

A/C recharging is fast and easy!

  • Check for/and repair leaks before recharging.
  • Using a gauge ensures proper fill levels.
  • Do not overcharge or undercharge the A/C system – both conditions will produce poor cooling performance. Too much refrigerant will raise system pressures and may result in compressor or other component damage.
  • Check vent temperatures while charging. Cooler air should result as you add refrigerant.
  • If you have added a can of refrigerant and are not getting cooler air – STOP! – and see a professional! You may have leaks requiring repairs to the system.

Global Warming and Refrigerant

Be cool, but be responsible!

Did you know refrigerant R-134a is a greenhouse gas? If leaked into the atmosphere, it contributes to global warming. The mobile A/C industry is working on long-term replacements for R-134a. Until then, we work with the State of California in the following measures to ensure proper, responsible use.

Effective from January 1, 2010, an instant $10 California deposit and return program began:

  • Returned, used containers are recycled to recover remaining refrigerant.
  • It is illegal to destroy or discard used or unused small refrigerant containers under Section 95360 et seq. of the California Code of Regulations.
  • A new, self-sealing valve on cans of R-134a will help you avoid accidental discharges.
  • Better product instructions and education resources will help you do the job properly.

How does the deposit and return scheme work?

The State of California determined that R-134a, the refrigerant used in your car’s A/C system, contributes to global warming. California law now requires all purchasers of small containers of refrigerant marked for deposit and return to pay a $10-per-container deposit at the time of retail purchase. You must then return all purchased, used containers for recycling within 90 days to the retailer purchased from for a $10-per-container refund with valid proof of purchase.

It is illegal to destroy or discard used or unused small refrigerant containers under Section 95360 et seq. of the California Code of Regulations.

At this time, the deposit and return program applies to specially marked containers, and only in the state of California.

Returned containers are recycled and unused refrigerant recovered.

Which A/C Pro® products are approved for use in California?

The following products are approved for use in California:







California regulatory information for small cans of R-134a refrigerant for retailers

Retailers located in California have special requirements necessary for the sale of R-134a refrigerant to be used in automotive A/C systems. These regulations are fully explained in the downloadable guides below.

Download Retailer’s Guide to California Regulation PDF

Do-It-Yourself Step-by-Step Guide for A/C Recharging

CARB Placard (English)

CARB Placard (Español)

CARB Report Forms (English)

Hazardous Materials Permits

DOT-SP 10232

DOT-SP 14188

California Supply Chain Disclosure

Download Transparency Act PDF