How to Salvage Copper From Old AC Units

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There will come a time when that old air conditioner you have lying around the house either stops working completely or is taking up valuable space. When you have to dispose of the old cooling system, make sure that you are getting the most value from its parts by identifying the lucrative components, such as copper wires and tubes, and removing them from the machine. Take them to a scrap metal buyer and cash in.

Things You'll Need

  • Adjustable screwdriver with Phillips-head and flat-head bits
  • Cloth
  • Wire cutters
  • Large zip-up plastic bag
  • Open the air conditioner unit's cover carefully with the adjustable screwdriver and the Phillips-head and flat-head bits. Place the cover on a cloth.

  • Identify the copper parts located inside the machine; they may be tubes connecting to the main cooling unit, or simply covers for other parts.

  • Remove the parts carefully with the wire cutters, and zip them up inside a large plastic bag.

  • Compare prices that local scrap metal recycling centers will pay you for copper, and choose the one that offers you the best deal.

  • Take the copper you salvaged from the air conditioner to the center and sell it.

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  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
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