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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).