Disposing of an Air Conditioner

When disposing of something industrial like an air conditioning unit you want to make sure it is done in a safe and environmentally friendly way. Through analyzing sources like climate protection sites and air conditioning companies, various safe ways to dispose of an A/C unit were compiled along with specific instructions.

A few ways to get rid of an Air Conditioning Unit without causing any harm include local sanitation programs, recycling, HVAC retailers, waste transfer stations, or donations. It is vital to understand that disposing of it incorrectly can result in legal trouble.

It is important to realize that the reason there are specific ways recommended when getting rid of an A/C is that these units contain chemical compounds that are considered hazardous waste that only trained professionals can handle.

Ways to Get Rid of an A/C Unit

As stated previously some legal and harmless ways to dispose of an A/C unit are recycling at a center that handles chemicals, selling it to an HVAC retailer, or taking it to a contractor that can refurbish it (assess and repair it). The cool thing about a recycling center is that they will not only dispose of the toxic chemicals properly but they will then find ways to recycle the parts.

If it is still working, more ways include selling it to anyone, but this is illegal if it was created before 2010 so be wary of when it was produced; another way is to donate it. If it is a window A/C unit then a school, church, or community center might be interested in it. You can also potentially trade it in for a new unit but this would depend on where you are going to buy the new one.



When it comes to disposing of your Air Conditioning unit altogether, it is necessary to call ahead to all of the sites that will be listed because not every place is qualified to handle a product like this. The first places recommended to inquire about disposal include your county, public health district, or local landfills.

One of the first programs suggested is a waste transfer station, these are typically located on the same site as your community landfill. These programs collect waste and temporarily store it before transporting it to a waste treatment facility.

Some trash pick-up programs will dispose of your A/C during trash pickup but it is important to call your county to check if your county does that. Another option is that if you are buying a new A/C ask the retailer if they will dispose of the old one for you, some retailers will even drop the price for trading in the old unit. If you genuinely can not find anywhere near you that takes this appliance, you can always contact the manufacturer of the A/C.


A good option for discarding your old A/C unit is selling it. This can be a private sale between people, or something like Craigslist and Facebook marketplace, but if this is the case then make sure your unit qualifies. If it was made before 2010 then it contains chemicals that are no longer legal so it would be considered illegal to sell privately and you could be fined for it.

There are options to sell it to a company, there is something called Bounty Programs that will pay you for appliances such as these. A good and simple way to find what is available in your area is by calling one of your local electricity providers.



The link below will take you to the Environmental Protection Agency website that allows you to find a recycling facility near you that is equipped to handle appliances that possess greenhouse gases such as Air Conditioners. The only issue is that not every state has a recycling center like this available, but you can always call your local recycling center to check if they accept this product. It is important to look into it beforehand because not all recycling centers are equipped to handle appliances that contain toxic chemicals that contribute to greenhouse gases.

If you cannot find a nearby location on this website that recycles these appliances, you can call your county’s department and ask where the nearest organization is. This is actually a solid option available because most Air Conditioning Manufacturers have the resources and availability to recycle the product and they might even give you a discount on a new one for returning the old product.



A donation is a fantastic option as many organizations could use more help and product donations, especially nonprofit ones. The Salvation Army accepts A/C units and it’s a great place to donate to because all of the proceeds go to charity. Like GoodWill, not all locations for the Salvation Army accept these appliances, so it is important to call ahead and check with both of these companies.

Another place that accepts appliance donations is Humanity ReStore which is also known as Habitat for Humanity. This organization builds homes in communities that are affordable for those who are experiencing income/financial issues.


Instructions for Dumping Your A/C Unit

When getting rid of your Air Conditioning unit it is recommended that you go through an agency or program that offers to pick up the appliance for you. This is because of the chemicals inside the Air Conditioner. Although it is possible to transport the unit to a facility yourself, it can be risky and dangerous because if you break the refrigerant line it will cause these dangerous chemicals to leak and that can be very hazardous to your health. So if you choose to transport it yourself it is important to be very cautious, especially around the refrigerant line.


To conclude a lot of these options require you to call your county/ community to evaluate your options. From various cities and states, the available resources vary greatly. It will take a little bit of effort on your end to contact agencies and government departments but it is something that is a necessary evil and definitely important because different states have different requirements/guidelines. Disposing of this appliance incorrectly can result in legal issues and fines, it is also just dangerous in general because of its chemicals and its effects on the environment.

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