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Can Your Portland Home’s HVAC System Be Recycled?

recycle-hvac-system-in-portlandAt some point in homeownership, you’ll have to replace a failing or outdated residential HVAC system. In addition to selecting the best heating and cooling equipment for your home, you’ll also have to consider what to do with your original unit. In the Pacific Northwest, we care a lot about our environment, which is why our Portland HVAC contractors are often asked if recycling air conditioning and heating components is an option. While the short answer is yes, there’s some crucial information to know before disposing of your system. Our sales and installation experts share tips on responsible recycling practices below.

What to Know About Recycling Your HVAC Unit in Portland

HVAC appliances are complex machines that contain many parts and house potentially harsh chemicals. That’s why our heating and cooling technicians encourage our customers to work with professionals throughout the entire process. Our team can help select an appropriately sized new unit, offer complete installation, provide safe disposal and a maintenance plan. However, if you are looking to tackle recycling on your own, luckily, there are various local options to help you discard your heating, cooling, and ventilation materials correctly.

Tips for Recycling HVAC Materials

The excellent news about HVAC components is the majority of the machinery is recyclable. Here’s a quick rundown of safe-to-recycle parts:

  • Cardboard from the new HVAC unit
  • Sheet metal
  • Coils
  • Motors
  • Copper tubing
  • Furnaces
  • Brass fittings
  • Compressors
  • Metal ductwork

Keep in mind that all these elements require disassembly and sorting before being recycled. This process can take time and involves proper tools and welding expertise.

Also, be aware certain parts of your residential HVAC unit are not eligible for recycling. These include:

  • Fiberboard
  • Small plastic components
  • Flex ducts
  • Capacitors

If you have any questions about which pieces can be recycled or how to dismantle your unit, it’s in your best interest to reach out to your residential HVAC services in Portland. Always err on the side of caution and call in the professionals to ensure safe disposal.


What Are Your HVAC Disposal Options?

Even though your heating and cooling equipment is recyclable, that doesn’t mean you can toss it in your curbside bin. Getting rid of all the materials takes planning and resources. To recycle your system responsibly, you have a few options:

  • Recycling facilities: In the Portland area, you can find various city-run and private waste recoveries. These include dedicated recycling centers and junk removal services to help you securely reprocess your HVAC components.
  • Scrap metal companies: Scrap metal yards accept a wide range of appliances and metals from electric motors, wiring, copper, and aluminum. They can be a great solution for ditching unwanted materials while earning a little extra cash. However, keep in mind that you will have to strip down your air conditioner and heating system before dropping your materials. 
  • Donation: Depending on the condition of your heating and air conditioning unit, you might be able to donate the entire unit to a local charity

Since HVAC parts are considered hazardous waste, it’s illegal to discard any components in your trash. Non-recyclable materials also have to be thrown out correctly. The EPA requires Portland heating and cooling installers to reclaim the refrigerant from your unit. Leftover cooling, like freon, has severe, negative environmental impacts if allowed to evaporate. While you can take hazardous materials to Portland area landfills to effectively dispose of all your HVAC materials, it’s ideal to work with a professional when replacing your old unit. Our NATE-certified technicians can not only help you select the best modern heating and cooling system, but we can promise worry-free disposal of your previous unit.

Proudly Providing Residential HVAC Services in Portland for Over 60 Years

If you need help with HVAC repair or replacement, AAA Heating and Cooling is here to answer all your questions. Our sales and installation experts have been serving the Portland area for over 50 years. Contact us today for all your heating and cooling needs.