In recent times, scrap metal thieves have discovered sitting ducks: your home’s external a/c unit. Material harvested from our exterior Air Conditioning condenser are worth a small fraction of the entire unit, but that doesn’t stop crooks from stealing a vulnerable system for next to nothing.
Most of us have our homes insured against theft, but it may still be worthwhile to get aggressive to discourage or prevent such an event from happening to your property. Enhancements that can safeguard against theft of your valuable AC equipment may cost less than your insurance deductible. And, preventing theft from happening in the first place will ensure you’re not lingering in stifling heat while you await a check from your insurance provider, and for the new unit to get installed.
If there have been reports of ac system or plumbing metal theft in your area, it’s a smart idea to put together security measures now. Many local police departments have online databases you can search to see what types of crimes are being committed in your area. You ‘d be wise to check it out and be prepared before it’s far too late.
Amongst one of the most effective deterrents to theft is a heavy-duty cage installed over the condenser unit. These rarely cost for than a few hundred dollars to have one expertly put in. A high-quality, strong enclosure makes things difficult, and take a long time, to steal a condenser, causing the thieves to proceed to lower hanging fruit.
The most important factor to bear in mind: make certain any enclosure is designed to allow maximum air circulation around the AC unit. Common cages are designed to allow this, so you would be wise to purchase a professionally installed version. If the condenser can’t discharge the warm air properly, your system’s energy efficiency will suffer and possibly fail too soon.
Also, consider installed a hinged cage that uses a padlock. This will allow quick access by HVAC service techs when it’s time to perform maintenance or repairs on the equipment.
Next on the list is security lighting around the AC unit. Not only will it prevent stealing of your AC, it could also act as a deterrent to other crimes. Even the most inexperienced burglars will avoid a brightly lit area, although it takes just a few minutes to steal a typical AC condenser.
Some of today’s home security systems have products that can communicate with the air conditioner directly. Some work by simply monitoring the flow of electricity and/or coolant through your AC, then transmit a signal to the security system if there’s a disruption. Sounding a distinct alarm or calling the police automatically can help keep your AC system from theft even when you’re not at home.
Check the area encompassing your a/c unit condenser to ensure there is no foliage or natural growth that would allow someone to conceal. Even things like lawn furniture should be relocated so there are open lines of sight to your ac system. An added advantage is the AC unit will be able to breathe easier without being crowded by overgrowth.
When a thief swipes copper or aluminum from an AC condenser, that doesn’t always mean it’s a total loss. You want to give yourself a chance to recover any stolen equipment, and the best way to accomplish that is to scribe or etch your family name and the unit’s serial number into the metal in a hidden spot. Also be sure you have that information saved somewhere for easy access should you need to supply it to the local police.
While air conditioning isn’t a necessity in our modern lives, it’s sure is a great benefit. Don’t be inconvenienced by theft of your outdoor AC condenser unit. If you need help getting a unit installed or re-installed after a theft, call us at (614) 861-5203 for quick, reliable Service You Can Trust.