Grand Traverse County’s winter storms aren’t the only threat to your HVAC system. The copper and refrigerant in the outdoor unit can attract criminals looking to steal from you. A few basic precautions can protect your system from damage.
Why Your System Needs Protection
Your air conditioner or heat pump uses copper tubing to carry refrigerant between the outdoor and indoor units. Copper is a valuable metal that draws thieves who sell it to scrap metal dealers. Refrigerant attracts those who use the fluid to get high. Either one can cut your refrigerant lines in pursuit of their goal, causing costly damage to your system.
The more isolated of an area you live in, the more likely your outdoor unit is to be targeted because there are few neighbors around to notice
Keep the Thieves Away
Start by installing a motion detector light directed at the outdoor unit of your HVAC system. The light alone will draw attention to the area, which may be enough to scare a thief away. An alarm is an even better deterrent. A/C alarms are designed to go off when they detect tampering, voltage interruption or a drop in refrigerant levels.
Installing a locked fence or cage around your outdoor unit further discourages theft. A/C security cages are designed especially for this purpose.
While shrubs, tall grasses, and fences may seem like a good way to hide your outdoor unit, these landscape features also give thieves a place to hide and shouldn’t be placed next to the unit.
Spray paint the copper lines with bright orange or green. Thieves are less likely to take copper with markings because they know it’s more easily traced and it will raise the suspicions of any scrap dealer they try to sell it to.
If you really want to make sure your copper is traceable, have it engraved with your contact information or coat it with microdot paints, which stores information in microscopic dots.
To learn more about caring for your HVAC system, contact us at Team Bob’s Heating Cooling Plumbing anywhere in Grand Traverse County.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Traverse City, Michigan and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about HVAC system security and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 231-714-6196.
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