Window Air Conditioner Security
During the summer months, air conditioner security is important.
One easy way that a burglar might gain access to your home is through the window after pushing in the air conditioner unit on the 1st-floor. Or the burglar might just steal it!
Without central air conditioning, when the weather warms up the window air conditioners are installed. But that can become a target for burglars.
Here’s what you can do about it:
Most window air conditioners are installed and simply held in place by gravity. It’s tucked behind the window sash which keeps it from falling out. Maybe there’s a small screw holding the top rail and a few on the side for the accordion side-panels.
Many people don’t even install a single support screw into the top rail because the air conditioner is held in place by gravity and its downward force against the window sash. Good enough, right?
So, what can you do to better secure your window air-conditioner?
Read on for several suggestions!
Screw Top Mounting Rail Window AC unit into Sash
At least install a screw through the air-conditioner’s top mounting rail into the window sash. Most window air conditioners include a drilled-out hole in the top center to accommodate this.
Consider drilling additional holes through the same top mounting rail to accommodate more screws into the lower window sash (see illustration below).
Install Air Conditioner Window Locks
A convenient window lock for air conditioner security: (Sliding Window Lock, Window Stop, Window Restrict)
A window lock will prevent or deter the burglar from pushing and forcing up the window.
The A/C unit may be screwed to the sash, but if the window itself isn’t locked it’s still possible to force open and reach in and shove the air conditioner. Install window frame locks to prevent this.
Depending on the style of your window, you might consider something like the popular vinyl window lock as seen here.
Window Security Wedge
Another clever idea is a window wedge, like this one –
Window Air Conditioner Security Bars
This adjustable window security bar is designed to fit between the window and the top frame to prevent it from opening when an A/C is installed.
It fits into that relatively short gap. My own air conditioner happens to leave a gap of 8-1/2″ inches when it’s installed.
This particular air conditioner security window lock wedge adjusts from 7-1/2″ to 14″ in length and is made in the USA. You can check it out here.
‘Do It Yourself’ Window Security Bar:
While the air conditioner is mounted in the window, measure the distance from top of the lower window frame to the very top of the double-hung frame itself (with A/C installed). Cut a wooden dowel to snugly fit – which can be wedged to prohibit the window from opening further…
Window Air Conditioner Bracket
It’s also a good idea to get a window air conditioner bracket. It makes it harder for the burglar to get the air conditioner out from the outside.
Stick-on Window Alarm
Here’s a great product that will absolutely deter a would-be burglar.
The second they begin to force open the window, this cleverly designed window alarm will alert (based on motion/vibration sensing).
It simply ‘sticks’ onto the window, inside. Small, only about 3″ diameter. It has an ‘on/off’ switch for your convenience when opening the window yourself…
Stick-on Burglar Alarm Security Window Sticker Decal
Deterrence! On the window with the air conditioner, stick on a home security window decal where it will be plainly visible.
This alone may be enough to prevent a break-in as the burglar may move along to an easier target.
Window AC Accordion Side Panels
Depending on the width of the window air conditioner, the ‘accordion’ side panels may be extended fairly wide, or maybe not. This is an obvious weak point of entry for a burglar to punch through and gain leverage to shoving the air conditioner itself.
While the aforementioned suggestions will slow down or deter a burglar (likely to the extent of giving up without attracting attention), you might consider to (do it yourself) build wooden side panels to replace the plastic ‘accordion’ panels.
Window Air Conditioner Security Tips
Ultimately, you are not going to stop a determined burglar, but you will probably stop the majority of amateur burglars who are looking for quick and easy entry.
If one of them happens to pick your home because they see a window air-conditioner hanging out of a 1st-floor window, when given a hard push and it doesn’t budge, they will probably move on.
If the burglar pulls or pushes on the air conditioner while attempting to lift the window sash, it will not readily come if you’ve taken the precautions mentioned above.
Burglar Proof Tips
Okay, maybe more accurately stated, burglar resistant…
Tip: Consider removing any 1st-floor window air-conditioners when going on an extended vacation. A few minutes effort may be worth it…
Tip: You could plant thorny bushes… rose bushes, blackberry bushes etc. just below your windows…
Replace the side panels with plywood between the sash and jamb.
A wire cage to cover the outside of the AC unit.
Continue reading: 3 Ways A Burglar Breaks In, 80 Percent Of The Time