Air conditioners are one of the common scrap items during the warmer month. With a wide variety of materials like copper, aluminum, generators, wires, gold, etc., any scrappers from beginners to advanced ones can benefit from ac recycling.
For air conditioner disposal, regardless of type, all contain some form of cooling refrigerant. As there are federal or state/province regulations as to disposal of these types of appliances, before you dispose of it in a landfill, recycle or trash bin, call your local sanitation department to find out if it needs to be prepared before it can be discarded. In some cases, they will have a list of places where you will be able to return your air conditioner. Some stores that sell new models will take you old one as a courtesy to you. In other cases, you may need to have a technician who can remove the coolant from the unit. You can then recycle the unit through most recycling centers that do appliance recycling.
When recycling an air conditioner, it is best to carefully take it apart. Although it takes some time, for the money you can make selling the parts as scrap, it is worth doing so. Besides those little parts like copper wire, copper tube, screws, electric motor and copper/aluminum radiator are more sought after by scrappers. Additionally many of the modern window and central air units have digital displays, which means that they have a motherboard within them that contains a small amount of gold that you can scrap. Once you can see the inside of the air conditioner, you should see a few things including one or two radiators, sealed unit, electric motor, etc. Towards the back of the air conditioner, you should see a fan and electric motor attached that can be moved. You can use some tool like screwdriver to detach the electric copper motor from the fan and put that in a separate pile. It will be quicker to scrap the whole thing, or you can open it to remove copper wire.
When removing the scrap radiator from the ac unit, you will usually see a smaller one in the front and a larger one towards the back.After the radiator is removed, it needs to be cleaned before it can be sold or recycled. The steel contamination must be removed from the copper and aluminum and this can be done by simply cutting the steel off using a circular saw. After doing that all, you have a clean piece of aluminum/copper fin which will get you about 15-20% more at the scrap yard compare to leaving the steel on. At the same time, it is also a good thing for scrap yard owners to process. These radiators can be directly processed by radiator recycling machine, that is,AC Copper and Aluminum separator. Within seconds, copper pipes and aluminum fin will be discharged separately. And copper pipe will keep complete, while aluminum fin will be a little broken.