Tips For Business Owners For Theft Proofing Air Conditioners

Posted on: 10 August 2015

You may think it won't happen to you or won't happen in your neighborhood, but air conditioner theft is on the rise. The thief doesn't really want the air conditioner, of course, but he can make quick money by selling the copper tubing (and other metal) for scrap. If your business' air conditioner from a site like is exposed, you may be at risk of the thief in the night that can lift it in a few minutes. Try these tips for theft proofing your air conditioner.

Security Lights

You may be tempted to install the biggest and brightest lights to light up the night and deter burglars from entering your property, but according to the Department of Physics at Florida Atlantic College, that may not be the wisest decision. Bright lights let would-be thieves case out your property and  determine the best approach to burglarizing it. They also make it difficult to see anyone in the shadows near the lighted area, which gives thieves ample room to hide. 

While motion sensor lights are more effective, they still have their downfall. If the sensors react to blowing leaves or slight movements by a passerby, they are likely to be ignored by anyone in the area, even when they suddenly flash on. A better solution is to set your sensors so they only respond to an actual intruder and tie them to an inside light that comes on at the same time or is delayed by a few seconds. This fools the thief into thinking someone inside has been alerted to his presence and will likely send him on his way.

Security Cameras

Security camera placed so they record the area around your air conditioner may deter thieves and serve as evidence if the thieves ignore them. Some will ignore the cameras and take measures to conceal their face in the hopes they will not be identified. If you choose to use a security camera, angle it to capture the thief in action if he tries to steal your air conditioner.


There are several alarms available to detect potential air conditioner theft. These range from a simple alarm that sounds and alerts you when the air conditioner is moved to alarms attached to the refrigerant line that send out a silent alarm to the business owner, alerting him to a potential theft. Some alarms monitor a cut in the power source. Sirens, strobing lights and silent alarms are all options you can choose. There are even air conditioner theft prevention alarms that are housed inside the business to prevent burglars from bypassing the alarm system.

Lock the Power Box

Locking the power box may deter thieves. While some will use a hacksaw or cutters to access the box and disconnect the power, a thief in a hurry is likely to move on to an easier target. This simple means of deterring a thief isn't a cure all, but it is an inexpensive precaution that may save your air conditioner from theft.

Cage the Air Conditioner

Caging in the air conditioner to prevent access to the unit and power source is an effective measure for deterring would-be thieves, but again, it is not foolproof. Savvy thieves may saw their way through cages, especially if your air conditioner is located in an area where thieves can seek shelter in the shadow of the building or nearby shrubs and trees.

While all this methods offer some protection against theft, many business owners prefer to combine methods to increase the odds of stopping a thief in his tracks. Consider the benefits of each method and choose those that work best for your location.