Room air conditioners contain refrigerants, oils, and other compounds that, by federal law, must be removed and recovered. Then the steel, other metals, and selected parts can be recycled.
Some utilities and other partners offer incentives or run room air conditioner turn in events to recycle older, inefficient room air conditioners. Check with the Partner Database for Incentives and Joint Marketing Exchange (DIME) or enter your zip code, select the "Room Air Conditioner" box, and click the "locate special offers/rebates" button to find a room air conditioner recycling program in your area.
While some utility and state-sponsored programs may not specifically target these appliances for recycling, water heating as well as heating and cooling products may contain copper, steel, and other recyclable elements. The installing contractor is often responsible for hauling away and properly disposing or recycling the used equipment. If your installing contractor does not remove your used HVAC appliance, check with your local recycling or solid waste providers.
While utilities may not target other appliances for special collection, it's important that you contact your local waste management division to learn how to properly recycle those aging machines. Your municipality may collect an old water heater, oven or dishwasher on request — or they may give you the location of your nearest recycling facility for drop-off.