In 2008, Florida enacted legislation designed to stem the epidemic of copper theft that has plagued the state in recent years. In spite of stricter laws, however, businesses and homeowners continue to fall victim to these ruthless thieves. Air conditioning units, which are often placed outside have become a favorite target of copper thieves, who want the copper tubing from inside the units. Even air conditioning units in areas that were once considered inaccessible, such as on the roofs of multi-family units, are not safe from copper thieves.
If a copper thief strikes your air conditioner, you could be on the hook for hundreds or even thousands of dollars’ worth of repairs. To make matters worse, the thieves will be familiar with your home’s layout and will have an increased level of confidence that may encourage them to return and target your new unit. The key to protecting your AC unit from copper thieves is to make it an unattractive target. There are several things you can do to accomplish this.
Create an Inhospitable Workplace for Thieves
Copper thieves don’t want to be seen, so they prefer secluded units. Make sure the area around your air conditioner is well-lit and can be seen from your home and from your neighbors’ homes, if possible. Remove or trim landscaping that may have been designed to hide your unit from view and add cameras or mirrors, if necessary, so that you have an unobstructed view of your air conditioner from inside. If your security system includes cameras, aim one at your air conditioning unit. Remind your neighbors that if they see workmen, meter readers or other unusual activity at your home, they should contact you or the police.
Make Your Unit Harder to Access
Copper thieves want to get in, get your copper and get out quickly. Make your air conditioner hard to get to. Remove ladders or scaffolding that gives easy access to rooftops at multifamily units. Privacy fences may make it harder to enter your yard, but they may also create just the privacy a copper thief craves. A better choice is a security fence in the area of the unit. Another option that is less obstructive and potentially more effective is having an air conditioner security cage installed. Your Largo, FL HVAC professional has a variety of secure, attractive cages that are suitable for the local climate and soil conditions.