Air Conditioner Disposal: What You Should Know About Recycling

When you have your central air system replaced by an HVAC technician, the technician will usually remove the old air conditioner and handle the disposal for you. However, if you've replaced your air conditioning unit yourself, you may find yourself wondering how you handle the disposal of the old unit. You can't put it out on the curb for trash pickup, as most waste management companies won't take them due to the potential hazards. Here's a look at what you need to know about recycling your old air conditioner.

The Refrigerant Must Be Removed

You can't recycle your air conditioner's components until you can safely access them. To do this, the refrigerant must be removed from the air conditioner. While that sounds simple, you can't just release the refrigerant into the air because of the environmental risks.

Instead, you'll have to call an HVAC technician to come out and drain the refrigerant from the system. They will contain the refrigerant in specialized containers that are uniquely designed just for this purpose. It prevents environmental contamination and renders your old air conditioner safe for you to dismantle.

Some Components Are More Valuable Than Others

When it comes to recycling programs, you can often get a small amount of money back for certain metal parts and other similar components. However, when you're recycling an air conditioner, there are some components that you might actually be able to get a significant amount for if you know how to find, remove, and sell them.

For example, the coils, the motor, and the motherboard of your air conditioning unit are all considered valuable to those who are either seeking parts or looking for investments. Air conditioning system motherboards contain a variety of metals, including some precious metals such as gold. Remove these components before you recycle the rest of the metal, and look for other outlets to sell, recycle, or repurpose them.

Air Conditioners Contain A Lot Of Metal

The housing and internal structures of your central air conditioner are crafted from a lot of metal. Not only will you have steel, aluminum, or similar metals, but you will also have some components in the system made of copper. All of these metals can be valuable to metal recyclers, so separate your metals as you dismantle the air conditioner. When your metals are separated, you'll be able to get the going rate for each metal type instead of getting a bulk rate for all of the metal, which could leave you getting far less for valuable metals such as copper.

To learn more, contact an AC recycling company.