To you, your air conditioner represents a great way of keeping your home cool and comfortable on a warm day. To the average thief, however, your air conditioner contains a treasure trove of valuable metals that can be easily stripped out and sold for scrap. Air conditioning units are often the unwitting targets of copper and refrigerant theft, resulting in thousands of dollars in damages as well as lost comfort.
If you're looking for a way to keep A/C thefts from happening, you'll want to consider these choices for safeguarding your A/C system.
Lights, Camera, Action
Given that most thieves prefer to work in the shadows, the best thing you could do to protect your A/C unit is to simply shine a light on it. Keeping your A/C system well-lit can keep it from becoming a target, especially during the late hours. A good set of motion-activated floodlights can help keep your A/C unit illuminated, but only when thieves come near your A/C system.
Surveillance cameras are also a great way of catching some thieves in the act and keeping others at bay. Combining these cameras with motion-activated lighting may provide a formidable defense against thieves and vandals.
Hidden in Plain Sight
Hiding your A/C system is also a good idea, especially if your home happens to have plenty of vegetation or privacy fencing around. There are plenty of ways to visually hide an outdoor A/C cabinet from both passersby and would-be thieves. If you decide to make your A/C unit blend in with the rest of your home, make sure there's enough space between the A/C system and any structures or foliage that's nearby.
Alert and Alarmed
Rigging up your A/C unit with an audible alarm offers another effective way of safeguarding your air-conditioning equipment from theft. Audible alarms keep an eye on current voltages, movement, and pressure throughout the entire outdoor cabinet. If a thief attempts to open or remove your A/C system, it'll trigger an audible warning that not only dissuades thieves, but can also alert the proper authorities to a theft-in-progress.
Under Lock and Key
Last but not least, you can keep your A/C unit surrounded within a heavy-duty cage that is difficult to cut through or otherwise break open. Air conditioning cages come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes to accommodate a broad selection of A/C units. Some cages are designed to prevent the entire A/C unit from being stolen, while others feature metal mesh screens and other design features to keep thieves from disassembling the unit on-site.
For more information, contact an HVAC contractor at a company like Allied Mechanical & Electrical, Inc.