How to Protect Your Home’s Outdoor HVAC Components From Copper Theft

copper theft

You’ve probably seen it on the news — copper theft is on the rise. So if you have an outdoor air conditioner (and most of us in Central Florida do!) you should take steps to protect one of the biggest home investments you’ve made.

With the price of copper rising, thieves know that the copper and aluminum condenser coils inside air conditioning units can be sold as scrap. And because they wish to avoid detection, thieves move quickly, often backing up a truck or large vehicle to an A/C unit, cut the wires, load it and then speed way.

To add insult to injury, once the thieves strip an air conditioner of its copper, they can earn less than $100, while a homeowner is left to replace the entire unit, which usually costs thousands of dollars. While it’s true that many homeowners’ policies cover theft, deductibles in Florida are usually high, which means preventive measures like these are more affordable:

  • Enclose your air conditioner in a locked metal cage.
  • Tether the unit to your home with a chain and padlock.
  • Purchase a pressure gauge for the air conditioner if you have a home alarm system. If the copper line is cut, the pressure gauge will trigger the alarm.
  • Install motion sensors around the unit to scare off would-be thieves. Remember that they’re looking for not only a fast and easy heist, but also one they can pull off without being seen.
  • Paint the copper coils with a brightly-colored spray paint. Recycling centers are on the lookout for material that’s discolored. Though it may not save you, it might get the thieves caught before more homes are hit.
  • When purchasing a new air conditioner, have it installed in a high-traffic or well-lit area in your yard.

Scott’s Heating & Air Conditioning has lots of experience helping homeowners safeguard their homes from copper theft, and we’d be delighted to help you, too. Contact us today for help with any of your Central Florida home comfort needs!

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