How to Recycle an Old Air Conditioner

scrap copper in window ac unit
How to recycle an old air conditioner? When recycling an old air conditioner, it is best to carefully take it apart. Air conditioner scrap is valuable to scrap collectors.

Many copper aluminum coils can be collected from old air conditioners and are very valuable. Scrap yards are a great place to sell the air conditioner scrap as well.

When it comes to a scrap air conditioner, the parts can be a gold mine to many collectors.

A scrap air conditioner is a great source of materials. Within the information below on how to recycle an old air conditioner, you’ll learn a few common things as well as some additional tips that you likely did not know about.

Large units are very flimsy and have huge generators and condensers. It is important to remember that when taking apart a large unit, once the screws are removed, most models of larger air conditioners will just fall apart so it is important to disassemble the unit on a flat surface.

It’s no secret that because of their size, large air conditioners are most sought after by scrappers. The bigger the air conditioning unit, the more money, that you can make selling it as scrap metal.

Determining how to recycle an old air conditioner is not that difficult. When it comes to scrapping sealed units and compressors it is best to cut the unit open using an angle grinder while simultaneously holding the unit down.

If the old ac unit still blows cold air, it still has Freon within it that needs to properly be disposed of before you attempt any cutting procedure.

The motor can than be sold to a scrap yard. Some people choose to remove the wire from the motor, and others leave it in.

When removing the scrap radiator from the ac unit, keep in mind that the value of the radiator depends on its size. Most radiators in air conditioners are made of copper and aluminum.

After the radiator is removed, it needs to be cleaned before it can be sold or recycled. The steel contamination must be removed from the copper and aluminum and this can be done by simply cutting the steel off using a circular saw.

Taking apart an air conditioner involves a little work but for the money that you can make selling the parts as scrap, the task is well worth the time. The shell, grill, screws and the fan on the scrap air conditioner are all worth money as well.

Many ac units have a lot of aluminum within them as well, so make sure that you have your magnet handy so that you can test various metals.

Additionally many of the modern window and central air units have digital displays, which means that they have a motherboard within them that contains a small amount of gold that you can scrap.

Scrap inside a air conditioner
There are scrap companies that will buy the motherboard for top dollar. You can also remove the gold, save it and scrap it yourself once you have collected enough of it.

Separate all of the metal components that you have removed from the air conditioner and cut away all copper lines using a bolt cutter or copper wire cutters. The soldered joints also need to be removed from your pure copper.

If you want to get more involved with air conditioner scrap there are two good sources that you can start with.

One source is apartment and condo complexes. One other source is fire clean up companies. Both have access to air conditioner scrap that they would otherwise throw directly into the garbage.

As always, be safe out there and follow the rules so that we can all continue to make money selling scrap metal.