If you know that you will be getting a new air conditioning unit the next time summer rolls around, you may be looking at getting rid of your current model. But getting rid of an air conditioning system is easier said than done. This is because air conditioners contain refrigerant that can be harmful to the environment if it were to get dumped into a landfill. In other words, you can't just put your air conditioning system out on the sidewalk and expect the garbage man to pick it up. Your unit will very likely still be sitting there the next morning because the local garbage service will refuse to take it. So how then do you properly dispose of an air conditioner? Here are some tips to keep in mind.
Remove Any Doors or Covers to Prevent Entrapment
First things first, remove any doors or covers on the unit before you go forward. You do not want any small animals or little kids trying to climb into the unit if it is somehow found in the wild after you get rid of it.
Drain the Refrigerant Carefully
Now, it's time to remove the part of the air conditioner that makes disposal so difficult. Drain the refrigerant into a large pan, or preferably, ask an expert in air conditioning system recycling to drain it for you.
After you are done removing the refrigerant itself, there is still more work to do. You will want to disconnect the hoses and any other parts that came into contact with the refrigerant while the AC was in operation. These hoses or other parts should also be treated as hazardous waste, just like the refrigerant itself.
Search for a Hazardous Waste Drop Off or a Recycling Center
After the refrigerant and all affected parts are removed, it's time to get them somewhere where they can be properly disposed of. Search for a local government drop off for hazardous waste. Better yet, take the entire air conditioning unit to a recycling center. An expert there will be able to remove all hazardous parts for you and properly dispose of the rest of the unit.
Disassemble the Rest of the Unit If It's Going on the Curb
If you are going to try and put at least some of the unit out for the garbage man after the hazardous materials are removed, make the job easier by disassembling what's left of the unit into multiple parts so they are easy to carry. You may also want to put a sign out next to the unit letting the local garbage service know that you already removed all hazardous materials.
For more information or help, find a local air conditioning recycling service.