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Air Conditioner Theft: It's Real, And It's Expensive

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Take one look at a huge air conditioner compressor sitting outside someone's house, and you might think the idea of stealing one of these is bunk. These are huge compressors that are often in places that people wouldn't be able to get machinery like forklifts into quickly, right? But air conditioner theft is increasing. Thieves want the copper that's inside, and those compressors, wall units, and even window units are easy targets. It takes only a few minutes to dismantle and strip a large compressor of its copper, which means you need to take action to protect what you have.


One option is to enclose the air conditioner in a cage. These aren't perfect solutions, because they can be unlocked by you and by repair people. But they offer one more layer of security that thieves would have to break through, which is enough to deter a lot of thieves. The cage also shows that someone is watching over the property, which means those thieves going after vacant buildings will be more likely to bypass your house.


Another option that is slightly more complicated, but may help catch thieves, is etching. You have the copper parts of the air conditioner engraved with identifying information. Because so many states require metal buyers to record who is trying to sell metal, the difference between the information on the copper and the address that is on the seller's ID should be a tipoff to the buyer. There is the chance that the buyer could contact the police, who could nab the thief.

Home Alarms

For window and wall air conditioning units, see if a home alarm system would cover those points along the perimeter of your house. If those points are covered, then any attempt to remove the units would set off the alarm and alert the security company monitoring your home. Note that some home alarm systems monitor movement inside your house, and they are programmed to not go off for light movements from pets. Make sure your alarm system covers movement at the doors and windows of your home, too.

If the worst has happened and a thief has destroyed your air conditioner, contact your insurance agent, to see if your homeowner's insurance covers the cost of replacement. Even if it doesn't, give air conditioning companies a call to check about prices and payment plans, because once summer hits, you're going to want a working air conditioner again.

For more information, talk to companies like Polk Air Conditioning.