You’ve probably seen or read at least one news clipping in the past six months about theft from homes and businesses.  I’m not talking about TVs or gaming systems but rather air conditioners, water heaters, copper guttering, etc.  You might think, “Why would someone steal an air conditioner?” or “My air conditioner would never get stolen because I live in a nice neighborhood.”  Fact is: it can happen to anyone.  There are, however, a few things that can be done to deter someone from stealing your HVAC unit.

First of all, why would somone steal an air conditioner?  The answer is because people try to get money for the copper and scrap metal.  It really doesn’t matter what city, town or neighborhood you live in, an air conditioner is vulnerable.  We get calls from homeowners, landlords and business owners who have experienced this.  Your insurance company may cover the loss but you’ll still have a deductible to pay and the inconvenience of being without air conditioning!  While nothing will guarantee that this won’t happen to you, there are some things you can do to deter someone from your home or business:

  • Have a motion light around the air conditioner.  While theft doesn’t happen only at night, lighting is helpful.
  • Have a cage installed around the air conditioner.  Cages are typically bolted to a concrete pad or are concreted into the ground.  They are typically made of steel and come with padlocks.  Again, this is not theft-proof, but a thief may not target your home if they have to take the time to try to cut or damage the cage in order to get to the air conditioner.   
  • Look at having an alarm system installed on your air conditioner.  There are a couple of types of alarms.  One is similar to a car alarm.  If the air conditioner is tampered with, it will set the alarm off creating a loud noise.  While it doesn’t notify the police, a thief isn’t likely to stick around while an alarm is sounding!  Another type of alarm is one that can be wired into your security system.  If the alarm is wired into your home or office security system, it would set the security system off just like it would if someone were to enter your home.

It’s unfortunate that this topic even has to be discussed.  However, being pro-active might save your air conditioner.