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Is Your Air Conditioner Safe From Florida Copper Thieves?

Florida thieves have an eye on your outside air conditioning unit.

Florida thieves have an eye on your outside air conditioning unit.

Why?

Because they want to scrap it and sell the copper inside.

In 2011 in Sarasota, FL, a trio of thieves stole components from ACs from 5 unoccupied homes—in one night. Years later and these types of thefts still happen. In 2014, thieves stole an AC unit from an Outreach Center in Orlando, FL—presumedly for the copper inside.

Why all the clamor for copper?

It’s simple: Copper’s price has risen to about $3.00 per pound. So thieves in Florida and all around the nation have more incentive to steal it from air conditioner units at businesses and unoccupied homes and then sell it to a scrapyard.

However, the money thieves make (around a $100) is relatively small compared to the cost of repairing/replacing your air conditioner ($1000s). So how do you protect your AC from these meticulous metal scrappers?

How to protect your air conditioner from copper thieves

Here are 3 solid solutions for protecting your home’s outside unit.

1) Get an air conditioner cage

These steel cages act as a barrier against not only thieves but also large debris that could damage the AC during Florida’s hurricane season. Just make sure the AC has enough space around it for proper airflow. Otherwise it will run inefficiently.

2) Shed some light on your AC

Thieves won’t try anything sneaky when the they’re easily seen. Put motion sensors around the AC that will turn on lights around the AC.

3) Make sure it looks like someone is always home

Thieves usually target unoccupied homes. So if you’re on vacation, make sure you have a house sitter to:

  • Collect your mail
  • Cut your grass
  • Have a car parked in your driveway
  • Turn on and off lights in various rooms

Be prepared

The last thing you want is to come home to see your AC has been stolen or stripped of copper. So protect your air conditioner from copper thieves by investing in some protection.

Ben Franklin said it best, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Have any air conditioner-related questions? Ask our experts for help.

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Cool Today provides award-winning air conditioning service to Sarasota, Florida and the surrounding areas like Bradenton, Tampa and Port Charlotte.