How Do I Dispose Of A Window Air Conditioner?

Window air conditioners contain refrigerant, which can contribute to climate change. If your AC winds up in a trash yard with the refrigerants still inside, they will spread out and go into the atmosphere. It can destroy the ozone layer and contribute to global climate change. In this article, we’ll tell you how to properly dispose of an old window air conditioner that’s safe for you and for the environment.

If you live north of the Mason-Dixon line, then there is a good chance that air conditioners are a regular part of your life. Down in the south, where central air conditioning is pretty much a requirement, they don’t get to see those things much, and kids that have never traveled north probably wouldn’t even have a clue as to what they are.

Yet even though the summer season is not nearly as long or as extreme as in the south, there are those weeks where your window air conditioner units are a lifesaver.

Due to the fact that the bulk of the unit hangs out of your window and is exposed to the elements year-round, window air conditioners have a greater tendency of breaking down when you need them cooling the most.

Now, being the air conditioner guy that I am, you would expect me to tell you to call out your local AC repairman because it is usually an easy fix. However, with labor prices going up and up and the price of window air conditioners coming down, the right move may be to scrap the old junker and order a new one, especially if your existing unit is outside of any manufacturer warranty period.

If you run the numbers and decide that buying a new unit is the thing to do, then here is a way to cut your costs even further.

Window AC disposal must be done by a qualified technician. Do not attempt to perform at home, as that could lead to serious injury and environmental damages.

Do not throw your old window air conditioner unit in the trash! Window AC disposal can be discussed as part of a new installation deal.

You need to take it down to your local scrap metal place and cash it in for around $50 worth of copper tubing inside the unit. You will get the most money from the scrap yard if you remove the copper from the unit yourself.

Otherwise, they will factor their labor into the overall value and reduce your take considerably. Another thing that I would advise is to call around to find out what they are paying for copper before hauling it down there and comparing that to the price of copper on the open market.

Most scrap metal places will pay you cash on the spot. Now you just cut $50 off the cost of your new unit. Either that or you can just pocket the found money and not tell your spouse that I told you about it.

Many appliance stores offer disposal services for old window air conditioner units when you buy a newer model from them. Some HVAC dealers even offer a rebate on a new unit when you recycle your old window air conditioner through them.

Mas Broto

Written by: Mas Broto

Mas Broto is a small business owner with 30 years experience in the real estate industry. He is the founder and editor of, the most comprehensive free home improvement website on the planet!