5 Ways to Prevent Air Conditioner Theft at Your Home

Posted On: May 05, 2014

Did you know that your air conditioner (A/C) or heat pump is one of the most common targets for thieves? Its outdoor compressor unit has a substantial amount of valuable copper that criminals often try to steal. Here are five ways to prevent air conditioner theft:

  1. Hide your A/C. You can either try to hide your outside unit by surrounding it with furniture, fencing and/or bushes, or install it out of the way so that potential thieves might not see it. One caveat with this strategy: If you live on a relatively busy street, leaving your outside A/C unit in plain view of the street is probably your best protection against theft. Thieves avoid situations where they’re likely to be spotted.

  2. Install an alarm. If you are interested in installing an alarm to ward off potential thieves, you can contact a security consultant or an HVAC professional. Special alarms are made just for HVAC systems, or else your home alarm may be able to cover the outside compressor.

  3. Buy a cage. The most robust way to prevent air conditioner theft is to buy a locking cage for your outdoor unit. There are specific cages designed to protect A/Cs from thieves and the weather, but they can be pricey. If you go for this option, avoid cheap cages that still provide partial access to the copper.

  4. Make it hard to access. Thieves are looking for the easiest target. If you can fence your system in or install it on a platform out of the way, it’s a much less attractive target.

  5. Use a camera. The best way to prevent theft or catch anyone who goes through with it is with a camera. Motion-activated cameras will capture any movement around your system.

Applying one or more of these methods to protect your A/C or heat pump’s outside unit should reduce the chance of any thefts. If you are unsure whether a certain option is appropriate for your home, consult with a professional.

For more information on protecting your Metro East IL home’s air conditioner or heat pump outside unit, please contact us at Ernst Heating & Cooling.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Hamel, Alton, Glen Carbon, Highland, Greenville, Troy, Illinois and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). 

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

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