How to Dispose Air Conditioner

The best way to cool down on hot, steamy days is to sit in front of an air conditioner. It is very comforting to live indoors during the hot summer and spring months with the help of an air conditioner. One disadvantage of having an air conditioner is disposing of it.

Our world has long passed the day when one could throw an A/C into the garbage with confidence or legally. Nowadays, it is considered dangerous to throw away an air conditioner. So, let’s explore the ways to correctly dispose of air conditioner.

How to Dispose Air Conditioner Correctly?

Old Air Conditioners
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Depending on where you live, there are many ways to dispose of your air conditioner. But no matter what, only qualified professionals should be attempting this job as there is a potential for serious injury or environmental damages if not done correctly. Here are some different methods:

1. Send It off to a Scrap Yard

EPA rules says that qualified scrap yards should dispose of air conditioners in an EPA-approved manner. You may check your local government’s website to see if any facilities are available or look up the EPA’s Responsible Appliance Disposal (RAD) partners for additional information. These locations are approved by the EPA and can assist with the disposal of appliances.

2. Search for a Rebate Program

Many utilities and state governments provide rebates to customers who replace their old, inefficient air conditioners with newer, more efficient models. Not only does this save you money on the cost of a new unit, but it also provides safe disposal of your old air conditioner.

This program encourages consumers to dispose of their units properly. For information about programs in your area, contact your electricity provider.

3. Consult Your Local Disposal Agency

Your municipal sanitation department can properly dispose of an old air conditioner. They likely have a specific area where these appliances can be taken and disposed of, or they might outsource the job to another company. In any case, it’s always a smart move to check in with your local sanitation agency first.

4. Donate Air Conditioner

Donating old air conditioners with working components is a wonderful way to help needy people. Heat-related issues are particularly common among individuals over 65 due to their age. Shelters for the homeless may also require portable air conditioners. Donate directly or through a local aid coordination group if you can.

Nonprofits and faith-based organizations are frequently aware of those in need as well. Just be careful not to donate pre-2010 R-22 refrigerant air conditioners since doing so would pass the issue of hazardous older refrigerants on to someone else.

5. Dispose of through HVAC Retailers

Ask the HVAC business if they will take and dispose of your old air conditioner when purchasing a replacement. In some situations, merchants offer disposal services as part of the bargain. If you trade in your old air conditioner, other retailers may offer you a discount on a new unit.

6. Dispose of through Bounty programs

You can get money through specific programs by exchanging your old air conditioning unit for a newer model. According to the environmental protection agency, anyone who owns an appliance is eligible for a “bounty,” which allows recyclers to collect and recycle old appliances.

In some cases, bounty programs may also offer discounts or rebates to purchase newer models. Contact your local electricity provider to find out if there are any bounty programs in your area that you could take advantage of.

7. Refurbish Your Old Air Conditioner

If you don’t want to get rid of your air conditioner entirely, there is another alternative for it. You might hire a professional to repair your air conditioner. Old air conditioners are frequently responsible for numerous issues, including high energy bills and the expense of replacing them. That may be expensive both in terms of cash and time.

Refurbishing an old air conditioner generally entails topping up the refrigerant, repairing any leaks in the piping, fixing the condenser fans and fins, and deep cleaning internal components. However, keep in mind that air conditioners built before 2010 cannot be refurbished since they use R-22 refrigerant, which has been phased out. If you want to convert an older air conditioner to run on R-410A, you’ll have to forget it because the two systems are incompatible.

8. Make Your Air Conditioner Smart!

If you are refurbishing your air conditioner and bringing it into the 21st century, you’ve got to bring it into the world of smartness through smart AC controllers such as the Cielo Breez Plus or Cielo Breez Eco. Smart controllers bring unparalleled comfort and convenience to your air conditioning, allowing global remote controls through your smartphone.

Not only does this connect your air conditioner to the internet, but it also offers features such as geolocation, weekly scheduling, and intelligent humidity & temperature-based triggers. Furthermore, you could save up to 25% on energy costs by tracking usage history and auditing usage.

Why Do We Need to Be Careful About Air Conditioner Disposal?

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You may have previously wondered why discarding an old air conditioner is illegal. The chemical names may sound daunting, but the answer is quite simple. These toxic chemicals fall under one (or more) of these categories: hydro chlorofluorocarbon (HCFC), hydrofluorocarbon (HFC), or chlorofluorocarbon (CFC).

All refrigerants in air conditioners, except HFC, are greenhouse gases. Except for HFC, all these compounds contribute to ozone depletion and are thus especially harmful to the environment. If you throw your air conditioners into a landfill, these refrigerants would escape, cause a quicker depletion of the ozone layer, and contribute to global warming.

What exactly is the effect of these greenhouse gases on the environment? According to one expert, releasing the refrigerant of one air conditioner is equivalent to driving your car 3,000 miles—that’s a cross-country journey across the United States!

Despite all of the efforts to minimize the damaging effects of refrigerants, there is still much more progress to be made. Modern air conditioners utilize a refrigerant known as R-410A. Even though this kind of refrigerant does not endanger the ozone layer, it does contribute to global warming.

Models using a much more powerful type of refrigerant, such as R-22, were previously used. R-22 is produced from harmful chemicals for the ozone layer and is being phased out in favor of R-410A.

The Bottom Line

The ideal situation is to keep your air conditioner in excellent working order and get the most out of it. However, as with all equipment, there comes a time when we must replace it. Whatever choice is made, we must be aware of the environmental effects of our lifestyle and do all we can to minimize them. Proper air conditioner disposal is a big issue to consider, and if we follow environmental laws and regulations, we may take action to reduce those harmful consequences.


Are old air conditioners worth anything?

If you scrap an entire window air conditioning unit, most scrap yards will give you $4-6.

Are old air conditioners safe?

AC units over 10 years old have been associated with an increased risk of chronic illnesses like neuritis, arthritis, bronchitis, asthma, and hypertension. An old air conditioner, for example, may aggravate inflammatory disorders such as neuritis.

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