Prevent Theft Of Commercial A/C Units & Protect Your Bottom Line

If you manage a facility that relies on air conditioning units, it's important that you protect your bottom line. Thieves are known to target air conditioning units for the copper tubing inside of them. This makes the air conditioning units inoperable, which could result in heavy financial loss for your business. Not only will you need to replace the copper tubing or the entire air conditioning unit, you could face downtime and loss of goods. Here's what you need to know to protect your air conditioning units and your bottom line.

Thieves target air conditioning systems for scrap metal   

Thieves steal copper and other metals from air conditioning units from the roofs of commercial buildings. They then sell the materials to scrap metal yards for cash. In Wisconsin, police watched a man dismantle a heating and air conditioning unit to get the copper tubing to sell. The damages amounted to between $5,000 and $7,000. 

While most scrap metal recycling centers do look out for stolen materials, it can be difficult for them to determine whether or not any of the scrap metal was stolen when they receive them at their facilities. According to a police detective, each part inside air conditioning units has a serial number and it's a good idea to write the serial numbers down. That way, you can give the police officers the serial numbers in case your air conditioning units are targeted. Have your HVAC technician go through your units to record each serial number.

Prevent theft of your air conditioning system

There are several things you can do to prevent theft of the air conditioning units. One thing that is crucial to understand is that most thieves dismantle the copper from the air conditioning units where they are located. This means that bolting the air conditioning units down will not deter theft of the copper tubing. You will need to take additional steps to secure the parts of the air conditioning units.

Enclose the air conditioning units with fencing and a lockable gate so an HVAC technician from a place like Aggressive Mechanical Contractors can gain access when necessary. But, you don't want to attach a padlock to the gate because those can be easily cut with bolt cutters. Instead, the gate should have a built-in locking mechanism for the best protection.

The fencing should not hinder the operation of the air conditioning units. You don't want to install fencing that will block the air flow to the units or it could cause them to overheat. While chain link fencing is preferred for this reason, thieves can try to cut the mesh of the fencing so you need additional protection.  

Alarm monitoring systems can be installed to help deter theft and vandalism. Air conditioning units can be monitored with an electronic alarm system that signals the local authorities or an audible and visual alarm system that alerts employees in the vicinity.  Speak with your HVAC technician or a security service about methods of securing your building's air conditioning units.

Protect your bottom line if your copper has been stolen

Depending on your facility, you may need to shut down operations if the air conditioning system is compromised. This could result in several hours or several days of downtime for your facility. Fortunately, there are portable air conditioning packages that can be rented for these types of emergency situations. Since there are several options available with various levels of cooling and air filtration needs, you'll need to speak with your HVAC technician about what the specific needs are for your commercial or industrial facility.

Deterring theft by all available means may make your facility less of a target. But, if your facility does suffer a loss from theft of copper tubing from your air conditioning units, notify the police right away. Then, call an HVAC technician for a portable air conditioning system and emergency repairs.