Do I Really Have to Protect my Air Conditioning Unit from Theft?

Air conditioning was at one time considered a luxury item.  Today, we think of Air Conditioning much differently and now think of it a necessity.  When homeowners think about the items within their home they must protect or the items that may be at risk from burglars, they think of jewelry, cash, electronics, and other valuables.  Probably one of items last on their list of items within their home that is at risk of being stolen is their Air Conditioning Unit.  However, leaving your AC unit exposed can lead to theft or damage, even though they are always pretty heavy.

Why would a burglar steal your AC unit?

Many of these air conditioning thieves are interested in the copper unit parts, which have value and can be sold later. Most of these thieves are not your typical bandits dressed in black targeting your home at night.  These guys are usually impersonating an conditioning technician in uniform during the days and driving a service type vehicle such as a van or truck.

How do I protect my Air Conditioning unit?

  1. Install a cage or electrical fence around your air conditioning unit. Without a fence or cage around you’re a/c unit is exposing your unit to potential theft. There are cages that are specifically designed for a/c units which make it very difficult for thieves to break into.  Another tip is to hide your unit behind a fence.
  2. Install your unit in a smart/safe location. The requirement of the electrical disconnect to the condensing unit often varies by location. The purpose of the electrical disconnects is to shut off of the AC unit in case of an emergency. Don’t allow anyone to remove or relocate your service disconnect more than 4’ from the air conditioning unit. Doing so will increase the chances of theft or damage.
  3. Install lighting or a motion detector near you’re a/c unit. As you’ve probably already know, the presence of lights in an area ensures security, as most thieves prefer to steal at night when the visibility is greatly reduced. Install an exterior light with a motion detector to keep your protected. The motion detector can significantly help while you’re away and air conditioning thieves are on the prowl.
  4. Install home security cameras. Thieves do not like being on camera. Installing cameras outside your home can play a huge part in protecting your home.  Remember, do not install any cameras low enough to be reached and vandalized. Cameras don’t actually prevent theft nor do they make it more difficult to steal you’re a/c unit.  However, it can improve your chances of identifying and capturing the thief.  Some homeowners install fake cameras or signs around the home stating that the house is under surveillance.  This can help reduce crime as well.

It’s important to recognize that AC units are a valuable part of your home. Incorporating any numbers of the items above can have a positive affect and help provide a higher level of protection and security for your home. If you have any questions or if your need any help with your air conditioning system, please contact ABC Air and Heat at (407) 459-8379.

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