How to Remove Freon From an AC Unit: A Detailed Guide

If you are a homeowner, removing Freon from your air conditioning unit is discouraged. You need to be a certified technician with the necessary certifications to handle Freon.

Also, it is illegal to dispose of Freon in the environment because it is toxic. The right way to remove Freon from an AC unit is using a special machine called a reclaimer.

The machine captures the Freon and stores it until it is ready to be disposed of appropriately to avoid contaminating the environment. The best and safest way to remove Freon from your AC is to get a certified professional to do it for you.

However, this doesn’t mean it’s not important to learn how to remove Freon from an AC unit. Let’s see what it entails;

How to Remove Freon from AC Unit: What you Need to Know

Hire a Professional

The first step when considering how to remove Freon from AC unit is to hire a professional to do it for you. It is not advisable to remove Freon from your AC on your own. This is because it’s dangerous to handle Freon, and the job needs to be done by an expert with the right skills and tools to ensure that the process is safe.  

You also need to be well-versed with how your AC works to remove Freon effectively. If you are not a professional, you might not have the skills and experience needed to do it. A certified professional will make the process safe, easy, and fast.

Why do you need to Hire a Professional for Freon Removal?

  • It is a requirement – hiring a professional for Freon removal is a requirement by law. Doing it on your own can be dangerous, so it is advisable to leave the job to professionals who have the skills and experience on how to do it.
  • They know how to do it safely – safety is a big deal when dealing with Freon. If you are not an AC technician, you might not know about the safety concerns. Releasing Freon into the air can cause a lot of harm to the environment, so you should not attempt to do it.
  • They have the tools – professionals come with the right tools and equipment needed for Freon removal and any other maintenance needs. If you are a homeowner, you might not have the tools because they cost a substantial amount of money
  • HVAC technicians know how to dispose of Freon correctly – removing Freon from your AC is one thing. However, you need to follow the right disposal procedures. If Freon is not disposed of correctly, it can cause harmful effects on the environment. Fortunately, AC technicians have all the tools and knowledge on how to dispose of it correctly.

How is Freon Disposed of?

If you hire an AC technician for Freon removal, you do not have to worry about disposal. They have the tools and equipment to help them do it correctly. However, if you are curious about the disposal methods, here are some ways how they handle Freon after removing it:

  • Recycled: The Freon might be recycled after it is removed from your AC unit. Technicians do this by sending it to an EPA-certified reclaimer. The Freon reclaimer will clean and recycle the old Freon, so it is used on other AC units like yours.
  • Destroyed: In some cases, the Freon from your AC will be destroyed. When they do this, there are some specific procedures followed to make sure that the process is done safely. There are specific plants that have been set up to ensure that the process of destroying Freon does not cause any harm to people or the environment.
  • Stored: Certified professionals have the mandate to store Freon. However, there are procedures to be followed to ensure that Freon is safe while in storage. For instance, all the containers are labeled correctly and kept far away from any other materials. Freon is also supposed to be stored only for a certain amount of time before it is disposed of.

Do you Need to Remove Freon from your AC?

After learning how to remove Freon from the home AC unit, is it a must that it’s removed? Well, removing Freon from your AC does not need to be done regularly. However, a time comes when you need to remove refrigerant due to a leak in the system or any other causes.

It is not advisable to do it unless you have been advised by an AC technician. In that case, they will take care of the removal and disposal because it needs to be done by a professional.

How Much does it Cost to Discharge Freon?

Discharging Freon is done by AC technicians. They will normally charge you the cost of discharging and replacing Freon. The technician will also handle any other thing like making sure that proper disposal is done.

The cost of replacing Freon can be anything from $100 to $250, depending on factors like the size of your unit and also your location. You will also be required to pay an average of $100 to take care of proper disposal so that it does not harm the environment.

Do Old ACs have Freon?

Old air conditioning units need to be disposed of correctly. They have some Freon that might leak into the environment, causing a lot of harm. If you have an old unit, it is advisable to get advice from your local technician on how to dispose of it safely.

On the other hand, you can contact your local environmental office to ask about proper disposal. Most of them have a specific place where old refrigerators and air conditioning units are kept and later disposed of so that they do not leak toxic chemicals to the environment.

Is Freon Dangerous?

By now, you already know that Freon is a dangerous substance. It causes harm to people and the environment, and that is why there are strict guidelines when it comes to its handling or disposal.

When exposed to the environment, it is a greenhouse gas that retains heat, increasing the earth’s temperature. The result is that it contributes to storms, flash floods, and other disasters.

In humans, it is dangerous, and inhaling it might cut off the oxygen supply to the cells and lungs. Unfortunately, Freon is odorless, so you might not even notice it when inhaling it.

It is advisable to stay away from exposure by making sure that your air conditioning unit is inspected regularly for any leaks. Do not try to remove Freon on your own if you are not trained.

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