Recycling Your Air Conditioner Units

Published: 13th July 2010
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If you're thinking of throwing away your old air conditioner unit when you are ready to buy a new one, think again.

Federal and state regulations have various requirements for the disposal of air conditioning units. If you do not follow these regulations, you can be fined as much as $25,000. Also, when you do not recycle your air conditioner, it leads to the air being contaminated with more toxic chemicals. There is also more waste in landfills everywhere as a result of units not being recycled properly.

air conditioners
contain several recyclable materials such as copper, aluminum, tin, and electronic motors. They also contain a toxic chemical known as feron and can send greenhouse gases into the air.

Each state or municipal area has different guidelines for removing and recycling air conditioners. Some must be taken to appropriate drop-off areas. In most areas, a technician must be available to remove the refrigerants from air conditioners before they are recycled.

If you do not wish to leave your air conditioner outside for pickup, several retailers and energy companies have rebate programs available. In an air conditioner recycling rebate program, you take your old air conditioner to a retail store or other drop off place. In most cases, the air conditioner must still be in working condition for it to be eligible. Once you drop it off, you receive a rebate coupon of anywhere from $25-$50 for the purchase of a new air conditioner, usually one that is Energy Star approved.

When you are ready to recycle an air conditioner, the first thing to do is to ask a contractor for an estimate in what it will cost to remove the toxic chemicals. Once you have chosen a contractor at a reasonable price, you should schedule an appointment to have the chemicals removed from your unit. Then, you can recycle it in the manner you have chosen; whether it is a city recycling program or a retailer or government program.

Let's suppose you live in New York City, home of NYC Vent Cleaning, and you want to recycle an air conditioner. 40% of lead found in landfills is from electronic and electric equipment. When you take part in New York City's required recycling program, you can help save the city money as well as avoid adding toxic chemicals to the landfills.

When you are ready to recycle your air conditioner, you must call the Department of Sanitation for an appointment. You can request to have up to six appliances recycled. A worker will come to your house or apartment and remove CFC from each appliance. They will then tag the unit and pick it up on your scheduled recycling day.

If you want to take a different direction in recycling without removing your unit, you can recycle the water condensation from your air conditioner. This is not required by law and can easily be done at your house without hiring a professional. All you have to do is disconnect the discharge pipe from the drain it is hooked up to and place the end of the pipe in a bucket.

Once you have collected enough water, you can use it to water your plants or to clean your house. Not only are you helping the environment, you can also save on your water bills.

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