Degassing Of Air Conditioning Units

Who doesn’t love to spend a comfortable summer afternoon sitting in front of an air conditioner? No sweat or humidity, just some fresh cool air!

Air conditioning units surely come with their perks. However, once the units become old, you need to hire authorised workers to collect and dispose of the machines properly. Also, there are several national rules and regulations that prevent you from performing the disposal yourself because the risks of environmental pollution are relatively high.

The discharge of toxic air conditioning gases, refrigerants and foam blowing agents makes it necessary to properly degas the air conditioning units before their disposal to avoid environmental hazards. Any authorised rubbish company can perform the task, but they need to follow certain national regulations for properly degassing an air conditioner.

And today, we’ll talk about all the national regulations for degassing air conditioning units that an authorised business needs to follow. So, let’s take a look!

Why Is Proper Disposal Of Air Conditioning Units Important?

According to a recent estimate, around 550,000 air conditioners get disposed of in Australia every year. And these disposed air conditioners result in more than 200 tonnes of toxic refrigerants being illegally dumped each year. The discharge of these poisonous refrigerants and air conditioning gases is the prime reason behind the depletion of the ozone layer.

Unfortunately, the ozone layer is our only protector from the harmful Ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun. UV rays are the primary cause of skin cancer, immune suppression, and genetic damage in living organisms. So, the discharge of greenhouse gases from air conditioners is a major factor that affects our environment.

Furthermore, the metal body of the machine leads to heavy metal pollution of the landfills if the aircon is not recycled before proper disposal. Hence, to avoid illegally discharging any green waste, it is mandatory to clean the air conditioners and dismantle them before disposal.

And it is best to contact rubbish collection and scrap metal companies for the degassing and dismantling of your aircon to avoid any unnecessary hazards.

What Are The National Regulations For Degassing?

When it comes to degassing air conditioners for their proper disposal, the Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Act of 1989 comes into play. The regulations of this Act work to get rid of the ozone-depleting substances and ensure refrigerant recovery before dumping air conditioners in landfills and recycling centres.

However, if any corporation fails to abide by the national regulations and engage in illegal dumping, they are bound to pay a hefty fine. Thus, these regulations work to ensure the health and well-being of the environment by preventing the illegal disposal of any e-waste.

How To Properly Recycle An Air Conditioner?

1. Contact A Professional Installer 

While disposing of an old air conditioner, it is essential to remove refrigerants. And it is always best to contact a professional installer who’ll degas, dismantle, and remove the entire unit in a hassle-free way. Moreover, they’ll handle the recycling of reusable items like metals and plastics before disposing of the old unit. Hence, you don’t need to worry about anything.

2. Donate Your Old Unit

Like all other white goods, you can always donate your old AC unit to a local charity instead of just illegally dumping it anywhere. If you’re trying to replace your old unit with a new one, donating it is always a better option than illegal disposal. You can contact any local charity, and they’ll readily receive the equipment.

3. Kerbside Disposal 

Another effective way to dispose of an old aircon unit is kerbside collection. Get in touch with your local council to know about the programs regarding such appliances. There are usually various programs to properly dispose of and recycle white goods like washing machines, clothes dryers, fridges, freezers, and air conditioners.

4. Take-Back Schemes 

You can always contact a commercial retailer to degas the pieces of your household equipment through a take-back scheme. The retailer will send your old AC unit to a metal recycling company for the proper shredding and dismantling of its metals before disposal. In that way, the sorting and recycling of the metals become much more efficient.

Who Are The Authorised Workers To Perform Degassing? 

Any authorised rubbish collection service is key to the proper disposal of these machines as they are well-aware of the regulations. These companies go from roadside rubbish collection to recycle centres and landfills to minimise the impact of illegal dumping on our environment effectively.

Moreover, the national regulations offer a framework for companies handling greenhouse gases in bulk to dispose of these substances properly without causing environmental pollution. Any company that wants to handle greenhouse gases and ozone-depleting substances must have a Restricted Refrigerant Trading Authorisation (RRTA) licence.

If a rubbish removal company has an RRTA licence, it is fully authorised to degas your AC unit and legally dispose of any refrigerant recovered from the equipment. The RRTA licence makes the company qualified enough to provide high-quality services at a minimum fee for degassing an AC unit.

However, it is always best to check the validity of the RRTA licence of a rubbish removal company before hiring its service. Without the proper licence, handling and dumping any AC or refrigeration equipment is illegal.

Final Thoughts

After reading our article, we hope you understand that you can’t just drop an old AC unit in the trash bins without proper degassing. While you’re degassing the pieces of the electrical appliance, always hire a qualified and authorised professional to avoid hazards.

You can also reach out to the local councils to properly recycle your AC unit through take-back schemes without causing any harm to the environment via illegal dumping. But, if you want to hire a professional rubbish removal company to get rid of your old household equipment, we suggest verifying the licence of the company.

And on that note, we’ll sign off. Until next time!