Recycling Commercial HVAC Scrap

Recycling Commercial HVAC Scrap

Recycling HVAC scrap isn’t just about being green — it’s about getting green. For those in the HVAC business, every discarded unit and piece of metal isn’t just waste — it’s an opportunity.

Every chunk of HVAC scrap isn’t just another piece of metal — it’s potential profit waiting to be realized. From understanding the types of metals you’re dealing with to the benefits of recycling them and the best ways to get it done, we’ve got the lowdown. Keep reading to make the most of your HVAC scrap and boost your business’s bottom line.

What Types of Metals Can You Find in HVAC Scrap?

HVAC units are a goldmine for valuable metals, each with its unique properties and recycling potential. Recognizing these metals and understanding their significance can enhance the scrapping process, ensuring you get the most out of every unit.

Here’s a breakdown of the common metals you can find in HVAC scrap:

AC Condensers

Primarily made of copper and aluminum, the coils inside the condensers are usually copper, while the fins are aluminum. It’s essential to separate these metals for the best recycling value. Also, be cautious when handling — the fins can be sharp and might cause injuries.


At the heart of any HVAC system, compressors contain a mix of metals, including steel, copper, and sometimes aluminum. Before scrapping, ensure that the compressor is entirely drained of any hazardous oils or refrigerants.

AC Radiators

Radiators in HVAC units are typically constructed from copper and aluminum. When recycling, it’s crucial to clean them thoroughly, removing any contaminants or residues. This ensures you get the best value for the metal and are following the set recycling regulations.


Found in various parts of an HVAC system, coils are predominantly made of copper. They play a crucial role in the heat exchange process. When scrapping, make sure there is no dirt or debris. Generally speaking, clean copper fetches a higher price in the market.

Copper Wiring

This is essential for the electrical components of the HVAC system. Given its high conductivity and demand in the recycling market, copper wiring is highly valuable. However, before selling, strip off any insulation. Bare copper wire is often more valuable than insulated.

The value of these metals can vary based on market demand, the condition of the material, and other factors. However, the consistent presence of metals like copper, known for its high scrap value, makes HVAC units a valuable resource for those in the know. Whether you’re a contractor replacing old units or a business looking to make the most of your discarded equipment, understanding the metals within can lead to a more sustainable and profitable approach to waste.

What Are the Benefits of Recycling HVAC Scrap Metals and Materials?

In the HVAC world, every discarded piece of metal is a potential asset waiting to be leveraged. For HVAC businesses in Austin, every piece of discarded metal can be a source of revenue, a way to cut costs, and a step towards a greener business model. Let’s break down how recycling your HVAC scrap can directly benefit your business.

Boost Your Bottom Line

Every piece of HVAC scrap metal has value. By selling these metals, businesses can generate a consistent stream of additional revenue. This income can be directly reinvested into the business, offsetting overhead costs like equipment maintenance, labor, and other operational expenses.

Avoid Landfill Waste Fines and Reduce Disposal Costs

Austin’s strict waste management regulations mean that improper disposal can lead to hefty fines. Recycling not only helps businesses avoid these fines but also reduces the costs associated with waste disposal. Plus, by diverting metals from the landfill, businesses can save on the ever-increasing landfill tipping fees.

Reduced Procurement Costs for Manufacturers

For those in the manufacturing or repair side of HVAC, using recycled metals can lead to significant cost savings. Recycled metals are often more affordable than new materials, and by reintegrating these metals into operations, businesses can cut down on material procurement costs.

Gain a Competitive Edge

In a market that’s becoming increasingly eco-conscious, businesses that adopt sustainable practices often have an edge over competitors. Recycling HVAC scrap metals and promoting this eco-friendly initiative can attract a wider customer base, leading to increased business opportunities and customer loyalty.

Benefit from Tax Incentives

Many local and state governments, including Texas, offer tax incentives or rebates to businesses that actively engage in recycling. By capitalizing on these incentives, businesses can enjoy reduced tax liabilities, further enhancing their financial gains.

Contribute to a Circular Economy

By recycling HVAC metals, businesses play a part in the circular economy, where materials are reused and repurposed, reducing the need for virgin resources. This not only conserves natural resources but also supports a system that can lead to long-term economic benefits for the community and the industry.

All in all, incorporating these recycling practices offers tangible financial gains. This positions HVAC businesses and contractors for success in both the short and long term.

How Can You Get the Most out of Your HVAC Scrap Profit?

Maximizing profit from HVAC scrap means understanding and navigating the ever-changing landscape of the metal market. It’s not just about gathering and offloading — it’s about strategic timing and ensuring the quality of what you’re selling. By keeping a close eye on market rates, especially for high-value metals like copper, you can choose the optimal time to sell, capitalizing on peak prices.

Holding onto your scrap and selling in bulk can also be a game-changer, especially for larger commercial projects. While it requires patience, bulk sales often command better rates, giving you a heftier payout. Clean, uncontaminated metals are always in demand. Take the time to ensure the purity of your scrap to significantly boost its value.

Additionally, one often overlooked aspect of HVAC units when selling them for scrap is the weight of the unit. Many contractors focus on the valuable metals inside, like copper and aluminum. However, the sheer weight of the entire unit, including the steel casing and other components, can significantly add to its scrap value.

Steel, while not as valuable per pound as copper, can add up quickly, given the size and weight of some commercial HVAC units. So, when you’re looking to get the most money out of an old or broken-down HVAC system, don’t just strip out the copper and aluminum. Consider selling the entire unit, as the combined weight of all its components can fetch a pretty penny — especially with the current high demand for steel in many markets.

Maximizing profit from your HVAC scrap starts with recognizing the value of what you’ve got. Every discarded unit, every coil, every bit of wiring — it all adds up. Know the market, stay updated on metal prices, and work with a reputable scrap yard recycling center that offers fair and competitive pricing.

The more you know about the value of your scrap, the more profit you stand to make. So, keep your ear to the ground, stay informed, and make that HVAC scrap work for you.

How Can You Recycle HVAC Scrap Metals and Materials?

Recycling HVAC scrap metals and materials is a mostly straightforward process. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to recycle HVAC scrap metals and materials:

Safety First

Before starting, ensure you’re wearing appropriate safety gear, including gloves, safety glasses, and protective clothing. Disconnect any power sources and ensure the HVAC system is completely turned off.

Dismantle the HVAC System

Begin by dismantling the HVAC system. This will allow you to separate the different types of metals and materials. Remove any refrigerants from the system. It’s essential to do this properly, as refrigerants can be harmful to the environment. Only certified technicians should handle refrigerants.

Separate Different Metals

HVAC systems are made up of various metals, including copper, aluminum, steel, and brass. Separate these metals into different piles. Copper is found in tubing and wiring. Aluminum can be found in condenser and evaporator coils. Steel is often used for the frame and outer body, while brass can be found in valves. If you’re not sure whether you’re dealing with copper or brass, here’s a quick guide to help you in your sorting.

Clean the Metals

Before recycling, clean the metals to remove any contaminants, such as oil, dirt, or other residues. This step is crucial as clean metals often fetch a higher price at scrap yards.

Store Metals Properly

Store the separated metals in different containers or bins. This will make transportation easier and ensure that the metals don’t get mixed up.

Find a Local Scrap Yard or Recycling Center

Look for a local scrap yard or metal recycling center that accepts HVAC metals. Some centers specialize in recycling HVAC materials and may offer a higher price for them. It’s a good idea to call ahead and check the current prices for the metals you have.

Transport the Metals

Once you’ve found a suitable recycling center, transport the metals. Ensure they’re securely loaded to prevent any spills or accidents during transportation. Alternatively, you may want to enlist a scrap metal recycling pick-up service.

Recycle Other Materials

Apart from metals, HVAC systems may contain other recyclable materials, such as plastics or insulation. Check with local recycling centers to see if they accept these materials.

Dispose of Non-Recyclable Materials

Some parts of an HVAC system may not be recyclable. Dispose of these materials according to local regulations.

Stay Updated

Recycling regulations and market prices for scrap metals can change. Stay updated on local regulations and market trends to ensure you’re recycling efficiently and profitably.

Are There any Special Tools or Techniques You Need to Use to Extract HVAC Scrap?

When you’re dealing with HVAC units, you know there’s good money in that scrap. But to get the most out of it, you’ve got to have the right approach and the right tools in your toolkit. Let’s break it down.

First off, always make safety your top priority. Before you start tearing into an old unit, make sure it’s powered down and disconnected. No amount of scrap is worth a nasty shock or worse.

Now, when it comes to pulling that unit apart, start from the outside and work your way in. This way, you won’t miss a thing. And as you’re pulling metals out, give them a quick clean. Clean metals not only look better, but they’ll also fetch you a better price when it’s time to cash in.

Tools you’ll want on hand:

  • Safety gloves and goggles
  • Refrigerant recovery machine
  • Metal snips and cutters
  • Set of screwdrivers and wrenches
  • Tubing cutter
  • Wire strippers
  • Sturdy containers or bins

To wrap it up, getting the most out of your HVAC scrap is all about having the right approach and the right tools. With a bit of know-how and some elbow grease, you can turn that old unit into some serious cash.

How Can Gardner Metal Recycling Get You Paid for your HVAC Scrap Hassle-Free?

Navigating the world of HVAC scrap recycling can be a challenge, but Gardner Metal Recycling is here to simplify the process for you. As a family-run business, we prioritize our clients, ensuring you get the most value for your scrap.

Our state-of-the-art facility is equipped to handle all your HVAC scrap needs efficiently. Whether your scrap is sorted or not, our team is ready to assist, ensuring you get the best possible return. With transparent pricing, you can be confident that you’re getting a fair deal without any hidden fees.

We recognize the unique challenges faced by contractors and utility service providers. That’s why our services are tailored to meet your specific needs, making the recycling process smooth and hassle-free.

Ready to turn your HVAC scrap into profit? Schedule a consultation with our experts or give us a call at 512-982-0447.