The outdoor component of your HVAC system may be at risk. If your air conditioner’s compressor is located in a place where it can be easily seen and accessed by thieves, or if you are frequently away from home, either during the day when you’re at work or for multiple days on travel, you should take measures to secure it.
Why Thieves May be Checking Out Your Compressor
Air conditioner theft is an ongoing problem for homeowners nationwide. Thieves target the outdoor compressors mainly for the copper they contain, which can net them a couple of hundred dollars from scrap metal yards. If they have time, they may take the unit apart on site to steal the metal. Sometimes, though, they will make away with the entire outdoor unit and disassemble it later, or resell it to hapless customers who may themselves have been victims of air conditioner theft.
Although other metals in the component are also sold as scrap, copper is the main draw for thieves, as the market price continues to rise worldwide.
Protecting Your Compressor
While thieves may sell the copper in a compressor for a relatively small sum, the homeowner may be out of pocket for thousands of dollars to replace the HVAC system compressor.
What can you do to protect your compressor from theft? Here are some of the most popular ways.
- Fence your unit. Although some thefts occur because fences provide cover for thieves, a high (at least 6 feet) wooden fence may also hide your HVAC system as thieves drive around looking for compressors to steal. Choose a lock for the gate that is not easy to pick or cut.
- Install motion-sensor lights.
- Cage the air conditioner. Good quality metal cages are on the market that make it difficult for thieves to gain access to the unit.
- Install an alarm. The alarm should sound for voltage interruption, refrigerant loss or tampering, and should be wired so the homeowner is alerted when a theft attempt occurs.
For more on protecting your HVAC system, contact Mowery Heating, Cooling and Plumbing of Indianapolis.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Brownsburg, Indiana and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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