Air Conditioning systems are stolen with great regularity. Thieves prey upon unexpecting building owners. Most frequently churches and commercial buildings are the primary targets of this vandalism. Thieves rip out systems and units which can award them with maybe ~$50 per unit in scrap metal. However, the cost to replace the unit will be thousands of dollars to the building owner.
Ways to protect yourself?
The most intimidating and most common approach is to cage in the unit (see above). There are a large number of ways to cage an HVAC condenser. We always recommend to have a professional perform this kind of work. Someone who is not just a welder but knows about A/C. Reason being is that A/C systems need to breath(expel heat) and they need to be accessible for repairs. If the panel is blocked by a cage than the unit is way more difficult (at time impossible) to repair.
There are other ways to protect your air conditioning system. Locking the disconnect box is one solid effort. If the unit cannot be turned off then a thief is guaranteed to get smacked with an electric shock. There are also unit alarms that allow for systems to be activated so that when tampering occurs they alarm will sound.
Cost for a A/C Cage to be installed?
Cages can be purchase and installed for around $600 depending on the size of unit and application. The cost to do so may be a lot up front but will save you thousands in damage.
Contact Mission Air Conditioning if you’d like a free estimate