Protect Your Heat Pump or Air Conditioner From Copper Theft This Winter

by Greg Leisgang on December 17, 2013

Posted in: Heat Pumps

As the price of copper increases worldwide, homeowner reports of the theft of their heat pump and air conditioner have drastically increased. The unanticipated loss of your outside heating and cooling equipment can easily spoil your day and cost you upward of a couple thousand dollars in unit replacement. To avoid becoming a victim of copper theft, Lebanon homeowners must anticipate the threat and commit to a few precautionary security measures.

Why Your HVAC Equipment Is a Target

Since 2007, the wholesale price of copper, including scrap copper, has skyrocketed. Today, scrap copper offers a value increase of 60 percent since 2007, thus resulting in a heightened demand for scrap metals. Thieves have increasingly been targeting wire, power lines, water pipes and other equipment that might contain copper. For a home heat pump or air conditioner, Lebanon area thieves can extrude anywhere between $80 to $100 worth of scrap copper.

Protecting Your Outdoor Equipment

When it comes to the theft of your outside heat pump or air conditioner, Lebanon homeowners might be surprised at just how fast the action can be. Thieves will back their pick up or van to the outdoor unit, cut the attaching tubing and wiring, load the unit into their vehicle and quickly drive away. To avoid becoming the next target, consider the following precautionary measures:

  • Install motion detection lights to signal when outdoor equipment is approached.
  • Install alarm systems to signal when outdoor equipment is disturbed.
  • Construct a locked gate or fence around any outdoor equipment.
  • Install or relocate your outdoor heating and cooling equipment within a fenced area. Obscuring units with shrubs or brush may seem like a good idea, but shrubbery can also provide cover for copper thieves.

To learn more about copper theft and the precautionary measures you can take, or to learn about other solutions for your home heat pump or air conditioner, Lebanon experts at Tri-County Heating and Cooling are here to help you. 

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