Most homeowners don’t consider their cooling system as an item that people will be intrigued to steal. But thieves may target your air conditioner system next due to the shortage of copper in the global market and the increase in demand for copper.
How Thieves are Benefited from Your Stealing AC
When thieves steal an AC, often, they want the copper inside the cooling system. For this, they take the AC system to a scrapyard and extract the copper.
Usually, thieves get around $70 to $100 per AC unit by selling coppers. Whereas, homeowners lose thousands of dollars buying a new AC system.
You may think, does the scrapping company ask the thieves about where the AC came from? No, they don’t ask thieves about the source. They just require the EPA and driver’s licenses.
As I mentioned earlier, there is a global shortage of copper, which means that there will be more incentives for selling copper. As a result, the probability of your AC getting stolen is a lot higher now.
5 Ways to Prevent Air Conditioner Theft
1. Lock the AC Disconnect Box
The disconnect box of the AC unit connects the cooling system with electricity. While stealing the AC system, thieves prefer to disconnect the cooling system from the power source. But when you lock the disconnect box, it gets difficult for the thieves to cut off the AC power. However, while using a lock in the disconnect box, make sure you remember where you have put your key. Because during annual maintenance, you’ll have to disconnect the power from your system first. Otherwise, there will be a risk of getting electrocuted, and many HVAC professionals won’t prefer working at such a risk.
2. Use Surveillance or Security Cameras
You can use surveillance cameras to protect your cooling system from thieves. Besides, security cameras will give you overall house protection as well.
When there are surveillance cameras in a house, thieves will think twice before stealing AC from your house. Because they know that they are being watched, and even if they steal your AC, you can share the footage with the police and catch the thieves.
While installing a security camera in your house, you’ll have to ensure that it’s in a secured place. Because if the surveillance camera is easily reachable, thieves may try to break the cameras and steal your AC. As a result, installing a security camera will go in vain.
3. Add a GPS Tracking on the Air Conditioner
Usually, this GPS tracking method is used by builders on big home appliances. It is also effective when the house is vacant. When the homeowners arrive, builders remove the GPS tracker from the appliances and hand over everything.
But you can add a GPS tracker on your AC on your own, and if the AC gets stolen, you can track down the thieves and get your cooling system back.
4. Lock Your House Gates or Fences
Lock your gates – it’s a no-brainer. But often, homeowners forget to lock their gates and put their property at risk. Also, it’s found that the majority of the homeowners whose cooling systems were stolen kept their property gates open. As a result, thieves could easily get into the house and steal the HVAC system. That’s why, before going to bed or leaving the house, you’ll have to ensure that the fences or gates are properly locked.
5. Add a Cage or Grill Around the AC Unit
One of the best ways of protecting your cooling system from thieves is by adding a cage around it. Usually, when there is no physical barrier around the AC, it gets easier for the thieves to steal your AC. But when there is a cage, to steal the cooling system, thieves will first have to break the cage and steal the unit, which is a lengthy process.
You can use custom-made steel cages or ready-made steel cages to protect your AC. However, while adding a cage around the AC, you’ll have to ensure that the AC has enough space for airflow. Otherwise, it won’t get enough air supply, which will lower the AC efficiency.
See the summary of this content here in an infographic – 5 Tips to Prevent AC Theft [Infographic]