The relatively small amount of copper contained in your air conditioner's outdoor unit is an attractive target for thieves. To steal the copper in the coil, wiring and coolant lines, they won't hesitate to dismantle this costly component and leave you with spilled refrigerant, exposed electrical wires and an expensive A/C replacement. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to protect your A/C unit from theft to help avoid this costly and stressful experience:
Put the unit inside a cage - Enclosing the unit in a locked, well-built steel cage that's securely bolted in place will make your A/C less appealing to would-be thieves who are looking for a quick and easy copper heist.
Have an alarm installed - Have your HVAC contractor install an alarm that sets off a loud siren if tampering, voltage interruption or refrigerant leaks occur in your outdoor unit. Most alarms are designed to alert you by phone as well.
Install lights and a camera - Add a security camera to monitor the air conditioner. Place it in a difficult-to-reach spot and place warning stickers on the unit so thieves know they're on camera. To illuminate the A/C at night, have one or more motion-activated outdoor lights installed too.
Hide the unit from sight - Add shrubs, a hedge or a high fence around the outdoor unit to make it less conspicuous to thieves. If there's usually a lot of traffic on your street, leaving the unit out in plain sight can be an equally effective deterrent to thieves who don't want to be identified.
Paint the coil with microdots - Brush-on microdot products carry hundreds of individual dots that are visible under magnification. Each dot contains a uniquely assigned code that's registered with a national database. When a thief sees the microdot warning sticker on your unit, they'll be inclined to move on rather than risk trying to sell traceable stolen copper.
To learn more ways to protect your A/C unit from theft, contact the HVAC experts at Air Assurance today. We've been serving Broken Arrow homeowners since 1985.Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). Credit/Copyright Attribution: “GSPhotography/Shutterstock”