The copper coil inside the outdoor unit of your home’s air conditioner is a valuable piece of metal, making it attractive to thieves. Here are five effective ways to protect your A/C unit from theft so you can avoid the stress and inconvenience of an expensive equipment replacement.
- Cage the unit – When thieves see an air conditioner enclosed in a locked, reinforced steel cage that’s difficult to cut through, they’re likely to move on to an easier target. Before investing in a condenser cage, seek advice from an HVAC pro on the most effective installation method.
- Install a specialized alarm – Adding an alarm that monitors the high and low voltage lines, as well as the refrigerant pressure, can help stop a thief. When the refrigerant lines are tampered with or the wiring is cut or the disconnect is pulled, a loud siren sounds.
- Add a camera and lights – Have a motion-activated security camera installed near the condenser unit, but make sure it’s located high enough that it can’t be easily reached and damaged. Place warning signs strategically to let thieves know they’re being recorded. For 24/7 security, you’ll also need have at least one motion sensor outdoor light installed to illuminate the area at night.
- Camouflage the unit – To make the outdoor unit’s location less noticeable to would-be thieves, surround it with fencing or shield it with a hedge or shrubs. If you often have a significant amount of traffic passing by the house, the reverse strategy — having the air conditioner in plain view of the street — can also deter theft, since thieves don’t want to be seen.
- Go high-tech – If you prefer a high-tech solution, have a GPS tracking device installed on the outdoor unit to monitor motion or movement. If the unit is tampered with, the tracking device sends you an immediate alert by phone, text, or e-mail and summons the police as well.
To learn more ways to protect your A/C unit from theft, contact the HVAC experts at Stack Heating, Cooling, Plumbing and Electric. We’ve proudly served greater Cleveland area homeowners since 1976.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Cleveland, Ohio 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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