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How to Dispose of Home AC Freon

You may need to change or dispose of air conditioning Freon (a trademarked name for refrigerant) often because of leaks in a system. Several signs of running low are frost buildup in the interior unit, increased electric bills, and the air conditioning unit blowing cool air at night and warm air in the daytime. Proper Freon disposal is important because when handled incorrectly, it can hurt both people and the environment.

How to Dispose of Freon Properly

The best way — the only way, really — for you to dispose of refrigerant chemicals properly is to call a certified technician from an air conditioning and repair business. Section 608 of the Clean Air Act lists specific procedures that must be followed for disposal, and certified technicians are well-versed in the process. Only these certified personnel are legally allowed to remove Freon and then dispose of it. They pass exams given by the Environmental Protection Agency in order to do this.

Never try to vent refrigerant yourself, as it damages human health and the environment. Plus, doing so is illegal.

Why You Shouldn’t Just Throw Away Freon

Other than it being illegal, you should not just throw away Freon because, after it breaks down, its free chlorine atoms interact with the ozone layer, affecting it negatively and contributing to climate change. Refrigerant poisoning, such as from inhalation, is also possible if you try to throw Freon out. Damage to body organs and even death can occur from this.

Be careful when you throw out old appliances, as they may still have traces of refrigerants inside them. In fact, before you can dispose of an item such as a refrigerator or air conditioner at a dump, you likely need a form attesting to the fact that a technician has taken the refrigerant out. Refrigerators, freezers and air conditioners are common appliances to watch out for as far as Freon disposal.

What Happens When Freon Is Disposed

Freon disposal by certified personnel leads to reuse, destruction or safe storage.

  • The EPA certifies Freon reclaimers who can resell Freon and refrigerant.
  • Destruction facilities use techniques such as cement kiln, radio frequency plasma or liquid injection incineration, among others, to destruct refrigerant. The facilities must meet high efficiency standards.
  • Safe storage methods are designed to make sure that harmful emissions do not happen. For example, equipment is kept in good working order, with no cracks, and limited personnel access.

Whether you are a renter, homeowner, or a prospective seller or buyer, it is important to bring certified technicians in when dealing with Freon or refrigerant issues. Freon disposal by yourself is unlawful and extremely unsafe. For freon removal, call Stan’s Heating and Air Conditioning today!