Air Conditioner Is Attracting Thieves

Air conditioners are great when it comes to cooling and regulating the humidity in many homes. For most Americans, they are indispensable. But it seems that thieves are now more than ever determined to ensure that they deny most home owners the luxury of having comfortable homes.

The thing is that the people stealing air conditioners are not really interested in using them. All they care about is stripping out the copper in the units and selling it to scrap yards. The fact that most units are easy to dismantle makes them an easy cash cow.

What copper?

Copper is literally the king in the thermal conductivity arena – especially when strength and reliability are taken into consideration. Air conditioner manufacturers therefore use it when making the main heating and cooling parts of an air conditioning system – the evaporator and condenser.

Copper is in demand and junk yards usually pay a relatively good price for them. This makes for a ready market for stolen air conditioner coils. The good news is that it is well within your power to deter these thieves.

Steel cages

Steel cages are great when it comes to keeping thieves away. You can choose to make the cage yourself or you can choose to buy a ready-to-install cage. If you choose to buy a ready-to-install cage, go for those made of steel bars. They are stronger than wire cages and therefore provide better protection.

In addition to buying a cage, you may have to build a concrete pad if your unit is on the ground. The pad will give the steel bars a more stable base on which to hold on to. This will make dismantling it harder.

Motion-sensitive lights and cameras

Thieves like to operate in the dark. Lighting the area where your air conditioner is installed will therefore discourage them from attempting to dismantle your unit. You can also take things a notch higher by installing motion-sensitive lights. The element of surprise that comes with suddenly ripping the cover of darkness is likely to unnerve even the best of copper thieves.

The only drawback to using lighting as a theft prevention measure is that it does little to protect the unit itself. It leaves the unit vulnerable to thieves who usually raid homes during the day.

But the presence of security cameras can help. And since no copper thief wants to take the risk of having his or her activities documented, even fake home cameras can work. When you use them, remember to put visible-enough signs to make sure that they clearly get the message: somebody's watching. For more tips, talk to an electrical service.