Be Eco-Friendly: Proper HVAC Disposal and Recycling

Be Eco-Friendly: Proper HVAC Disposal and Recycling

Just as with anything we dispose of these days, we must be concerned about HVAC disposal. Responsible disposal takes some effort, but your HVAC company will likely help you get rid of the old system as you make way for the new.

HVAC systems usually contain copper, steel, aluminum and brass. These materials must be separated to be useful. Some welding expertise is needed, as are the right tools to do the job. Taking apart an HVAC is a big job, as the heaviest pieces can weigh as much as 120 pounds. 

Most scrap metal yards require those who sell old air conditioning equipment to carry an HVAC license, to prevent unauthorized persons selling stolen HVAC parts.

Parts That Can Be Recycled

These parts of an HVAC can be recycled:

  • Motors
  • Cardboard boxes
  • Coils
  • Compressors
  • Brass fittings
  • Sheet metal
  • Copper tubing
  • Metal ductwork
  • Furnace 

The parts that can’t be recycled include these:

  • Small plastic parts
  • Capacitors
  • Fiberboard
  • Flex duct

Refrigerant, whether freon or newer types, must be reclaimed and should not be left to evaporate, which can harm the ozone layer. It’s generally best to not dump air conditioners in landfills, where the refrigerant can escape. Many municipalities and landfills have regulations against receiving HVAC equipment for this reason. Call first before you haul yours to the landfill.

Required by the Environmental Protection Agency, reclamation of refrigerant must be done by a licensed HVAC technician. The technicians must keep a log about refrigerant usage, including where it is stored, as well as efforts at reclamation and charging any air conditioners. 

Other Ways to Recycle HVAC Systems

You can call a recycling facility to have any large appliances or equipment such as HVAC units, generators and the like to pick up your system for a fee, for transport as well as disposal. Calling a recycler is usually a better option than taking the equipment to a landfill. 

Some utility companies even offer  a rebate for safe disposal and recycling of HVAC units.

For more on HVAC disposal, or to schedule repairs, maintenance or new installations, contact CCAC of Corpus Christi

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    David Mathewst David Mathews is the owner of CCAC Air Conditioning and Heating. A Corpus Christi native... More »