Hansberger Refrigeration Blog: Your AC Repair Resource

Where Did the Heat Pump Go? Don’t Let A/C, Heat Pump Thieves Get the Better of You

If you don’t take the proper precautions, you might one day find that your home’s heat pump or A/C has been stolen. The theft of heat pump and A/C condensing units – the cabinet that sits outside next to your home – has been on the rise in recent years. This is due to a steady rise in the price of scrap copper. Heat pumps and air conditioner condensers contain about $80 worth of copper that a thief can easily remove and sell. 

It is simple and easy for thieves to remove a unprotected heat pump/air conditioning system from outside a home. Thieves can quickly pull a truck up near a home, remove the condensing unit, place it in their truck bed, and drive away. Some will even stay and strip the condenser of copper right on site. The entire theft can be completed in minutes, and the process will cWhere Did the Heat Pump Go? Don't Let A/C, Heat Pump Thieves Get the Better of Youause very little noise or warning when executed by experienced thieves. The end result of the theft is thousands of dollars in expenses for the homeowner to replace the stolen equipment. It can even mean a whole system replacement, since it’s very difficult to match an old inside evaporator unit with a new outside condenser.

How can you protect your home from being targeted? One possibility is installing a security system specifically designed to dissuade and prevent thieves from attempting to remove heat pump/air conditioning condensers from outside the home. Kits are manufactured that feature alarm-sounding mechanisms set off when the system detects tampering. Indications of theft such as refrigerant loss or voltage interruption will notify such a security system of attempted theft. And, of course, sometimes just the security warning sign is enough to deter a would-be thief.

Other strategies to prevent heat pump/air conditioning theft include spotlights positioned near the unit, with motion detection if it’s within your budget. Placing your condensing unit in a locked fence also will do the trick, as well a specially designed lockable “cage” that you can place around the equipment.

Avoid becoming a victim heat pump and A/C by taking the necessary security precautions. Please contact us at Hansberger Refrigeration & Electric Co. for more information. We provide quality HVAC and electrical services in the Yuma area.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Yuma, Arizona about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about heat pumps and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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