In hot and humid Orlando, your cooling system definitely has value to you, but the copper in the outdoor unit’s refrigerant lines and coil also has value to scrap metal thieves. Protecting your A/C unit from theft takes a small investment, but it will help keep your air conditioner around to enjoy for many more years.
Don’t Help Thieves Hide
A well-lit outdoor unit in plain view is less tempting to thieves because there’s a greater chance someone will notice them. Make sure you can see your outdoor unit from your house. Install motion lights aimed at the outdoor unit and into any nooks a thief might hide in.
Anchor It in Place
Create a cast-in-place concrete base for your A/C unit that’s at least 10 inches deep. Use anchor bolts to secure the unit to the base. This will keep thieves from running off with the whole unit, but it won’t stop them from breaking into it and stripping the components. For that, you’ll need a little extra protection.
Lock It Up
Air conditioner security cages are designed to fit around outdoor units and keep out intruders. These cages, made of steel bars and mesh, are anchored in place with bolts thieves can’t reach and secured with a padlock. Alternatively, surround your outdoor unit with a chain link fence.
Guard It With an Alarm
An air conditioner alarm monitors your cooling system for signs of tampering, such as a sudden power shut-off or drop in refrigerant pressure. When a sign like this is detected, the alarm sounds to alert you. Incorrect alarm installation can damage your system, so consult an air conditioner technician if you’re considering this method of protecting your A/C unit from theft
Mark the Metal
The scrap metal dealers thieves sell to don’t accept painted copper, so simply spray painting your copper refrigerant lines can deter thieves. Using microdot security paint or engraving the metal with your address makes the metal traceable in case it is stolen.
For pro help protecting your A/C unit from theft, contact us at Rinaldi’s Energy Solutions in the Orlando area.
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 cooling systems and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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