What to Know About Recycling Your HVAC Unit

One of your home’s most important systems is the indoor comfort system, especially in the summer. Houston is located on the coastal plains which means the climate is very humid and hot, which takes a toll on air conditioning equipment. In honor of Earth Day held each April 22, here’s what what you need to know about recycling your HVAC system, when the time comes to replace it, to protect the environment and use resources wisely.

Can I leave my HVAC system out for trash collection?

No. Most air conditioning and heating contractors will remove the old equipment as part of the service provided with installing a newer system. A responsible HVAC company will often recycle the air conditioning or heating system for parts. Systems generally contain steel, aluminum, copper, and brass components. While most of the system can be recycled, it is not as easy as tossing it in the recycling bin. All of the materials need to be separated and that requires time, tools, and welding expertise.

Which parts of an HVAC system can be recycled?

Compressors from an HVAC unit can be recycled.

Almost 2,000 lbs worth of compressors ready to recycle.

Despite so many types of metals, quite a lot of an HVAC system can be recycled. Another good thing to know is that metal scrap yards often require that people carry a current air conditioning license in order to sell old air conditioning equipment as scrap. The heaviest pieces are compressors which can weigh 80-120 lbs each!

Here’s what can be recycled:

  • Cardboard boxes
  • Motors
  • Coils
  • Sheet metal
  • Compressors
  • Brass fittings
  • Copper tubing
  • Furnaces
  • Metal duct work, such as in the return air

What typically isn’t recycled?

There are a few types of parts that are not able to be recycled.

  • Flex duct
  • Fiberboard
  • Capacitors
  • Tiny plastic parts

What happens to the refrigerant in the old system?

Any leftover refrigerant such as freon or any of the newer types of refrigerant must be reclaimed, which means they aren’t left to evaporate and harm the ozone layer. This type of reclamation is required by the Environmental Protection Agency and HVAC technicians must carry a license to do it safely and properly. Air conditioning technicians are required to keep logs about refrigerant usage, including storing, reclaiming, and charging air conditioners with refrigerant.

Call us to learn more

If you’re looking for a family-owned HVAC company that is dedicated to your home comfort AND using resources wisely for the environment, call Rob and Kenny with Terry’s A/C and Heating at 281-495-7830 for prompt and professional service in the Southwest Houston and surrounding area. We recycle old equipment and we can advise you on other ways to increase your air conditioner’s efficiency to save energy and money on your cooling and heating costs. By making it a practice to recycle all we can and help our customers choose energy efficient equipment, we can all do our part to protect the environment and our Earth.