You probably haven’t thought much about protecting your outside heat pump or air conditioner condenser, but because of the copper they contain, thieves are targeting these units for a quick score. They rip out the copper or take the entire unit, loading it right into the back of a truck.
Then then sell the copper for scrap. The price of scrap copper has been going up for the past 10 years, and one condensing unit can be harvested for about $80 in scrap metal. Of course, replacing your A/C or heat pump is going to cost thousands of dollars, but that’s not the thieves’ concern.
There are several ways to protect your heat pump or air conditioner condenser:
- Make it known to the would-be thief that your air conditioner is protected with an anti-theft system. Simply putting up signage that indicates a protection system on-site may be enough to deter a thief.
- Having your unit hooked to your existing home security system is a good bet as well. Adding an audible alarm to the A/C unit will deter a thief as he approaches your unit.
- Hiding the condenser behind landscaping or a fence can also be helpful – anything that makes it harder to access your unit.
- If you’re concerned about a rental property or business with several units to protect, consider installing security cameras and motion lighting. The combination of these two items can make thieves think twice before approaching your equipment.
- The ultimate protection for your air conditioner is a metal cage. These lockable covers allow the unit to function perfectly while making it impractical for thieves to attack. Thieves are opportunists who go after the easiest targets they can find.
If you’d like help protecting your air conditioner condenser, or if you have any other questions regarding home comfort and safety, please contact us at Rinaldi’s Energy Solutions. We’ve been serving the heating and cooling needs of Orlando and the surrounding area since 1969.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Orlando, Florida and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about home safety and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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