If you aren’t safeguarding your outdoor A/C unit or heat pump as part of your fall maintenance, you may become a victim of theft. Thieves prize the valuable copper in your air conditioner or heat pump’s outside condensing unit. They can come onto your property and within minutes, strip the copper and sell it for scrap, or else just load the whole unit into the back of a truck and cart it away. As the value of copper rises, this theft will become more common. The good news is that you can take a few simple steps to protect yourself and your equipment.
- Install a surveillance system and motion sensors. This is practical advice that has a lot of benefits. Criminals prefer to commit crime anonymously, so the more visible you can make them, the more likely they are to avoid your home. Place cameras where you can monitor your condenser.
- Consider placing shrubbery or a small fence near your equipment to obscure it from view. Make sure that the landscaping does not restrict the airflow, however, as obstructions can reduce your indoor air quality. Conversely, if your condensing unit is visible from a well-trafficked street or sidewalk, it makes more sense to leave it in open view, so you don’t provide cover for would-be thieves. Having a light shining on the equipment is another good idea.
- When you are getting regular maintenance for your A/C or heat pump, talk to your HVAC contractor about moving the outside equipment to a safer location as a means of safeguarding your outdoor A/C unit. While placement on the north side is usually preferred, there may be other alternatives on your property.
- Look into a steel cage with a lock. This is a simple but effective deterrent to thieves, because the cage will take time to remove. Thieves want to be gone as quickly as possible, so anything that may slow them down will make them think twice.
- Invest in an alarm system. There are alarms available that monitor the condenser for voltage changes, loss of refrigerant or other signs of tampering. When triggered, the alarm is extremely loud and can be connected to a phone system.
Whatever you choose, you may need assistance safeguarding your outdoor A/C unit or heat pump. Our HVAC experts are ready to help you. Please contact us at Mowery Heating, Cooling and Plumbing. We have served the Indianapolis Metro area for more than 40 years.
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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