Protecting your A/C unit from theft also protects your comfort and your bank account. Air conditioner theft is a major problem that’s not going away. Theft of metal in the U.S. is a billion-dollar enterprise. Over 95 percent of scrap metal thefts are for copper, and the condenser coil and refrigerant lines in the vulnerable outdoor half of your central A/C contain a lot of it.
To a thief, making off with your air conditioner takes just a few minutes and nets some cash when the copper components are sold to a scrap dealer. Meanwhile, you’re left with a hot house and a bill that can range into the thousands to replace the unit.
Criminals prefer fast, simple thefts with little chance of being caught in the act. Effectively protecting your A/C unit from theft means making it more difficult and time-consuming to steal, as well as increasing the chances that the thief will be detected.
Tips for Protecting Your A/C Unit From Theft
- An unsecured central A/C is a theft waiting to happen. Make sure the unit is hard-mounted to a concrete pad with 1/2-inch bolts.
- Commercially available air conditioner cages constructed of hardened steel that resists most common hand tools utilized by A/C thieves can be installed by HVAC contractors. Though the cage completely encloses the unit, it still permits full airflow into and out of vents and can be unlocked to allow maintenance and service.
- Some homeowners plant shrubs to conceal air conditioners and enhance backyard ambience. The downside? Thieves can steal the unit without being seen. Keep your A/C in plain sight of your home and your neighbors.
- Put technology on your side. Dedicated air conditioner theft alarms trigger when the power is disconnected or the refrigerant lines are cut. Motion-sensing lights make nighttime intruders conspicuous. Network surveillance cameras can be remotely monitored and provide evidence for law enforcement.
For professional help protecting your A/C unit from theft, contact the Fresno area air conditioner professionals at Donald P. Dick Air Conditioning.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater Fresno, California area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about A/Cs and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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