Scrapping a Furnace for Maximum Profit: A Comprehensive Guide

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Disposing an old furnace requires careful consideration, as improper disposal can lead to fines in some areas. Due to the size of most units, municipal garbage disposals typically do not pick these up, but if you leave them on your curb, you can also get in trouble with your town.

However, scrapping your furnace ensures responsible disposal and allows you to earn some extra cash. Let’s jump into the process of scrapping a furnace, where we’ll cover how to do it and tips for maximizing profit at your local scrap yard.

What metals/materials from a furnace can be scrapped?

Furnaces comprise various parts and metals that can be recycled at a scrap yard. While specific components like small plastic parts, ducts, and most capacitors can’t be recycled, many materials can make up a furnace depending on the model and age:

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  • Sheet Metal: This will typically be the “shell” that your furnace is encased in and is likely some form of Light Iron.
  • Cast Iron: Some models of furnaces still use good old, heavy Cast Iron. This will likely increase your weight and is always a good surprise!
  • Coils: These are likely to be some form of Stainless Steel. However, some older furnaces can have a Copper coil instead.
  • Compressors: Depending on what part of the HVAC system failed, these can be part of the equation, similar to when scrapping an air conditioner
  • Circuit Boards: Newer furnaces will have these as various features may require simple boards
  • Copper wire and tubing: Most gas lines will be copper tubing, and there is always wire throughout these that can be snipped and added to your copper pile. The wire found in these is usually not worth the strip due to the gauge.
  • Brass fittings: As the name implies, these can be found on the unit’s exterior. But can usually be unscrewed from the unit’s wall with a wrench.

It’s essential to note that some scrap yards may prefer you to disassemble the unit, while others accept whole units and extract recyclable parts themselves. While you may net less profit, you’ll have less of a headache taking the unit apart or figuring out what price you’ll receive.

How To Pull Apart A Furnace For Scrap

Breaking down a furnace allows for better separation of components, increasing your potential earnings. Here’s an essential guide for pulling apart a gas furnace:

  1. Size and Weight of the job: Consider the size and weight of the unit, as it will undoubtedly affect its value. Keep a hand truck (and a friend or two if you have them) nearby if you ever plan on scrapping a furnace.
  2. Opening Up the Furnace: Keep a drill and assorted drill bits handy, as various models use different sizes.
  3. Ripping Pieces of Light Iron to Size: Depending on the size of your furnace, you may have to gran your sawzall and cut a few of the outer walls down to more manageable sizes.
  4. Removing CBMs: Once the walls are removed, you can access any wiring harness more easily, as well as motors or compressors.

Scrap Tips for Maximum Profit

  • Individual Component Sale: If you break down the furnace yourself, you can sell individual components, earning more than selling them as a whole piece.
  • Copper Extraction: Invest in an angle grinder for easier extraction of copper from motor housings.
  • Material Separation: Before heading to the scrap yard, ensure proper separation of materials. This includes separating light iron, copper, mixed steel, and aluminum.
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03/14/2024 06:20 am GMT