How to Properly Dispose of Worn-Out HVAC Units

old hvac unit

old hvac unit

With professional maintenance and routine care, manufacturers typically estimate a 10-15 year lifespan for heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems. So, when the time comes to replace your home’s malfunctioning or outdated model, give some thought not only to making room for the new unit, but also disposing of the old HVAC unit responsibly.

Familiarize Yourself with Government Guidelines for HVAC Disposal

Before taking any premature actions to remove the defective machinery from your property, research the applicable state or federal regulations. Depending on where you live, specific bureaucratic parameters dictate where and how HVAC units should be discarded.

Certain parts might need to be removed, or a qualified technician must extract the coolant before disposal. Remaining pieces should be transported to a designated waste site. For more information on these laws, contact your local sanitation department.

Consider Alternative Modes of Transportation

Often, recycling companies will voluntarily retrieve the HVAC unit from your house, and deliver it to an drop-off location. If you choose this option, ensure the recycling vehicle can accommodate large appliances — like cooling towers, chillers or generators — and expel them through environmentally responsibly channels.

In addition, remember that most old air-conditioning equipment contains the refrigerant R-22, which emits ozone-depleting gases into the atmosphere. Ask the recycling technicians to remove this chemical in advance. Some companies charge fees for proper HVAC disposal, while others waive the expenditures to promote eco-friendly initiatives.

Another solution is to find out if a particular HVAC manufacturer will handle the removal process. When purchasing an updated unit, inquire whether the company you bought the new model from will haul your old clunker to an appropriate garbage lot.

Complete the Necessary Legwork on Your Own

If you plan on personally transporting your run-down machinery to a landfill, discuss the logistics of this option with your sanitation department beforehand. Then, detach all environmentally hazardous components prior to discarding the HVAC unit.

Investigate Available Rebate Opportunities

Contact your home’s utility provider to determine whether any bounty programs are offered. In this case, the electric company will buy back certain appliances that meet fixed qualifications — based on size, condition and working order, for example. While this initiative isn’t applicable for entirely broken HVAC systems, if your unit meets these stipulations, a company representative will clarify the drop-off or pick-up procedure.

If your air-conditioner is currently on the fritz, and it’s time for an upgrade, follow these strategies to reduce your household’s carbon footprint.

Did we forget any other environmentally friendly tips worth mentioning? Feel free to share your personal suggestions in the comment section below!

Frankie Rendon is the digital marketer/PR guy for Arctic Air. Prior to entering the internet marketing realm, he worked for a non-profit organization where he fought to address the needs of the under-served indigenous population of Latin America in efforts to improve overall quality of life.

Photo credit: Shutterstock

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