Air conditioning thefts are on the rise this year, and we’ve seen an increase in our customer reports as well. Air conditioner thieves aren’t after your entire cooling system, just the condenser unit that sits outside. An average-sized copper evaporator coil that is inside the condenser unit can score a thief around $100-200, making it an attractive target. Here are seven best methods to keep your air conditioner safe.
A Locked Disconnect Box
A disconnect box is a container that is used to shut down all power to an air conditioner, so it can be safely maintained. In order to steal an air conditioning unit, a thief will have to disconnect the power before they haul it away. The disconnect box is usually located a few feet from the air conditioner and depending on the style of the box, it can be locked using a padlock. By locking the box, you’ll discourage the thief from trying to turn off the power and avoid a theft.
Most robberies take place at night, so having lighting in place may be a deterrent. Consider adding a motion-triggered light and additional landscape lighting around your air conditioning unit.
An Air Conditioner Cage
If you’re looking for something built strategically to prevent air conditioner thefts, look for an air conditioner cage. These steel cages can be installed over top of your unit and work well because they’re not only fastened to a slab of concrete (to prevent whole unit theft), but they also come with mesh walls to prevent a culprit’s hand from reaching into the unit and stealing the copper coils.
What better way to catch your air conditioner thief than with proof from a camera? Install a few around your property so that if a robbery does occur, you’ll know who was responsible. These can be combined with a motion-sensor light for even better results.
There are also air conditioner alarms that are made specifically to prevent air conditioner thefts. These alarms will sound when an air conditioner is being disconnected or when it’s being moved, and the sound is usually enough to scare away a thief.
Elevate your air conditioner to make it harder to remove. Many properties located in a flood hazard zone will elevate their mechanicals to prevent flood damage. Mainland property owners may want to consider this as well as a theft precaution.
If you have a gated yard, remember to lock your gates. Locks won’t necessarily keep a thief out, but it is one more obstacle that may be a deterrent.