Wait…HVAC copper? Who knew?!?! All across Maryland, residents from Ellicott City to Annapolis to Baltimore City and all points in between are experiencing an up-tick in the theft of HVAC copper from their outdoor units. While you’ve always known that you need to safeguard your everyday valuables, the need to protect your HVAC unit from copper scavengers is a relatively new and increasingly occuring phenomenon. Crime records nationwide and, more importantly for Maryland residents, statewide show that the taking of the HVAC copper has proven to be a lucrative way for thieves to make a quick buck at our expense.
Just like all crimes, everyone thinks that they are immune and that it “will never happen to me”; however, I am here to let you know that it can indeed happen to you. We have had several customers recently who turned on their HVAC units, waited for the soothing relief of that ice cold air to push through the vents, and have called us to check out the system because it is just not cooling. Our technician has arrived on site at several locations with this complaint to find that either: A) the outdoor unit is missing the interior machinery and/or B) the copper lines from the unit to the house have been removed. Unfortunately, this crime equates to costly repairs/unit replacements.
Now that I scared you with tales of copper theft, you are no doubt wondering what you can do to safe guard your HVAC investment. Guard dogs, shot guns, and surveillance cameras might sound good to you, but we at Arundel Cooling have more feasible options for you! Arundel Cooling and Heating carries “Copper Keepers” and also offers the option of security cages for around the units. Copper Keepers act as alarm systems for the HVAC units and are tied into your existing home alarm system. If you have no alarm system in your home you can still install the Copper Keepers and they will sound off a loud, continuous noise that will alert you to people fooling with your unit. The other option is a locking anti-theft cage that fits over the unit, anchored into a concrete pad, and locked up tight as a drum. These options both still allow for the service and check ups on your HVAC units but they are specially designed to keep your HVAC investment secure.
As a side note, there has also been an alarming increase in the theft of R22, also known as freon, refrigerant from HVAC units Unfortunately, this can often be attributed to kids “huffing” the refrigerant for a quick high. This translates to high repair costs for you the consumer and is easily remedied with locking service port caps.
Arundel Cooling and Heating would like to help you protect your valuable HVAC investment! If you have any questions please contact us!