How to Deal With A Scrap Air Conditioner

Author:Suny Group

When an old air conditioner stops working completely, it needs to be disposed of properly. An air conditioner is a great source of recyclable materials, such as copper aluminum coils and electronic motors. The shell, grill, screws and the fan are all worth money. Taking it apart and then selling the parts as scrap can help you get the most value.

How to Deal With A Scrap Air Conditioner?


AC units contain Freon, a substance which is ozone-depleting. Before taking apart an air conditioner, all Freon must be removed. It is illegal to vent Freon out into the environment. Freon must be removed by a licensed technician.

Scrap Compressors And Scrap Sealed Units

Sealed units and compressors are the black spheroids which are a thick layer of steel plate, inside of which is the motor for compressing the working fluids. To open the sealed units, first you should let all of the compressor oil drain out. Then hold the unit in a vice and use an angle grinder to cut it open. The motor can be scrapped by using a motor stator recycling machine, which extracts the copper winding from the motor.

Scrap Radiators

Most radiators in air conditioners are copper-aluminum. , i.e. they have aluminum fins with copper tubes. Larger AC unit has a larger radiator which is more valuable.

An scrap radiator with the steel on is dirty fins. It needs to be cleaned before it can be sold or recycled. This means to remove any steel plates from the ends, which can be done by using a chisel, circular saw or band saw. By doing so, individuals can get the best prices for the radiator. It is also necessary to remove the steel contamination before the radiator can be put into a radiator separating machine for recycling.

Scrap Copper Lines

Besides those in the radiators, there are also many copper lines in other parts of the air conditioner. Cut the copper lines out using a bolt cutter or a pair of copper wire cutter. And before that, prepare a oil pan to collect the compressor oil left in the copper lines. To get the best price, home owners shall cut out any soldered joints prior to selling them to the recycling center or scrap yard.

Fan Motor

Fan motor is usually behind the fins of the air conditioner. To remove the motor, loosen the setscrews to pull the fan blade off the motor shaft.