4 Ways to Protect Your Outdoor Unit

While protecting your air conditioner from wear and tear is important to ensuring your unit operates efficiently and keeps your cooling costs low, it isn’t the only form of protection it needs. Manufacturers use copper to assemble their AC systems, and thieves in Hanahan, South Carolina, are looking for an opportunity to steal this valuable metal. In fact, copper theft is a billion dollar industry in the United States, with AC theft accounting for 75 percent of it.

In the past, a thief would only steal the copper coils inside the air conditioning system and sell it to a scrap yard. With stricter regulations imposed on scrap yards, thieves are now also stealing the entire unit and selling it on the underground market. Considering how much it costs to replace an AC system, it’s worth spending a few extra dollars protecting it today instead of buying a new one tomorrow. Here are four simple ways to protect your outdoor unit.

House the AC Unit in a Cage or Put a Fence Around It

Thieves don’t like cages, whether what they’re trying to steal is protected by a cage or they’ve been caught for their crime and call one home. When purchasing a cage to protect your outdoor AC unit, make sure it’s made of iron and anchored with hard-to-remove bolts in case the thief gets any brilliant ideas to steal that, too. If you don’t like the look of a cage in your backyard, but you still want to protect your unit, you could build a wooden fence around it instead.

Add Lighting and Security Cameras Around the AC Unit

Surprise! The last place a thief wants to find himself is in the spotlight starring in his own action movie. Another way to protect your air conditioner from theft is to install motion sensor lighting around your unit, which will automatically turn on if there’s movement around it. If you want even more high-tech protection, install a security camera system in case the thief takes a chance and you need visual evidence to show the police. Make sure it has night vision, though!

Attach a GPS Tracking Device to the AC Unit

Taking advantage of technology to protect your outdoor unit by installing lighting and cameras is a step in the right direction, but what if the thief also has his or her own gadgets to bypass those security features? With video evidence, you might have a chance of catching a thief, especially if your unit has a GPS tracking device attached to it. After all, it would be better to recover your air conditioner and perhaps pay for a repair rather than replacing the system entirely.

Arm Your AC Unit With an Alarm and Buy a Guard Dog

Your home likely has an alarm system, and so does your vehicle. As unfortunate as it is, every costly item you own should be armed with an alarm that rings a loud siren when it’s tampered with. If you’ve been thinking about adopting a furry friend and adding another member to the family, you might even consider buying a dog that will alert you when a stranger is lurking outside your home. The best guard dogs for families include a Bernese Mountain Dog, a Boxer and a German Shepard. If you want a smaller breed, a Poodle or a Miniature Schnauzer will also do the trick.

For extra help protecting your outdoor HVAC unit from thieves this summer, or if you’d like to invest in AC maintenance to protect it from working too hard, read on about the benefits of investing in a plan or contact Berkeley Heating & Air Conditioning today at (843) 277-6030. Our service technicians are here to assist you with your HVAC system in every way we can, from offering protection tips, completing quick repairs or performing quality HVAC maintenance.