Don’t be the latest victim in a growing trend among Central Arizona air-conditioner thieves that puts your condenser in jeopardy. Your unprotected outside A/C unit contains valuable copper that disreputable thieves steal and sell as scrap metal. They may only make $75 on the heist, but the cost of replacement to you may total thousands of dollars.
Fortunately, there are ways you can outsmart the bandits, which include these tips to help protect your air conditioner from copper theft:
- Out of sight, out of mind. Air conditioning units in plain sight are easier targets. Make it more difficult for potential thieves to reach your unit by planting shrubbery, installing lattice or building a fence around your A/C unit that hide it from view. Remember to leave a five-foot area around your condenser so that air can circulate freely around it.
- Shed some light. One of the simplest and least costly deterrents is the installation of a light that shines on your A/C equipment. So you don’t forget to turn it on every night, use a motion-sensitive light that comes on automatically if someone walks into its range.
- Cage it in. Specially constructed steel air-conditioning cages act as protective barricades that prevent copper theft. The mesh design of the cages will not hinder air circulation around the A/C unit, and does not prevent routine A/C maintenance.
- Sound the alarm. Sophisticated condenser alarms are pressure-sensitive and alert you to anyone who may be tampering with your system. An inexpensive alternative to the alarm is to affix an alarm sticker on your unit to deter would-be thieves.
- Track the theft. State-of-the-art GPS technology includes monitors that notify the police when there’s unauthorized movement of your A/C unit. If the condenser is stolen, the tracking device identifies the location of your unit.
Don’t lose your cool because of A/C copper theft. In Central Arizona, the professionals at Wolff Mechanical are happy to answer all your A/C questions including those that can help with different strategies to keep your air conditioner safe.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Phoenix Valley area of Arizona about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).