Protect Your Air Conditioning From Dog-Related Damage

Dogs might be your best friend, but you don’t necessarily want them chumming up to your AC system! No matter how lovable your four-legged pet might be, there’s no denying how much damage they can sometimes cause.

This is often the case when dogs get too close to air conditioning systems, which often end up worse for wear after such encounters. Many things can go wrong when air-conditioners and dogs mix and the results are rarely pretty!

Read on to find out the harm that dogs can cause to air conditioners and how you can prevent problems from happening.

Dog pee and your AC

Many first-time owners don’t realize it, but dogs peeing on air conditioners can result in significant damage. Almost everyone is familiar with the inconvenience pets can cause when they wizz on a carpet, but do you know how much harm they can cause if they use your AC as a toilet?

The problem often occurs with outdoor units where the AC condenser is installed. Window units are relatively safe because they are typically positioned high on a wall where canines can’t reach them.

In contrast, outdoor units of central cooling systems are placed outside on the ground, where they can easily be mistaken for a port-a-potty by your lovable mutts. And when they let loose a stream of liquid into the condenser unit, trouble can’t be too far off.

How dog urine harms your air conditioner

Urine is pretty corrosive stuff. When it comes into contact with your AC, it will react chemically with the metal. The components that will likely be affected are the condenser unit itself or the aluminum fins and refrigerant coil inside it.

These components are essential for the proper functioning of your AC system. The copper coil in the condenser is filled with refrigerant that transfers heat from the interior of your home to the exterior.

On the other hand, the aluminum fins serve as the system’s heat sink, helping the coils transfer heat more efficiently. Needless to say, you wouldn’t want your dog peeing on these essential components and affecting your unit’s performance!

What urine damage means for your AC

So much for what could happen to your AC when Rover decides to ‘water’ it…what are the consequences?

For one thing, you will probably have to replenish the Freon much sooner than you had anticipated. Corroded condenser coils will likely leak sooner or later, which could deplete your Freon.

If you’re lucky, the leak will be relatively small and repairable. But wait too long to fix the problem, and you could be looking at a more costly full coil replacement.

Keep in mind that you will probably have to replenish your unit’s refrigerant in any case. But if you have an older system that still uses the R-22 refrigerant that is currently being phased out, you might have to upgrade the coil system, which is a more costly procedure.

Damaged AC systems often work at reduced efficiency, resulting in higher energy bills. Even if only minor damage occurs to the fins, your unit’s ability to transfer heat will be impaired. Consequently, your AC will have to work harder to keep your home cool, racking up your bills and causing more wear and tear.

Preventing your dog from peeing on your AC

So, now that you know the possible consequences of having your dog pee on your AC, what can you do to prevent it? Here are some solutions:

Plant some bushes around the outdoor unit. Having plants around your outdoor unit is a cost-effective solution to keeping your pets at a distance. Even if they choose that particular spot to go “number one”, the barrier should keep your condenser safe.

Enclose the unit with a fence. A fence will cost more, but it might be an even better solution. Even if it doesn’t keep your dogs out entirely, the added difficulty of getting too close to the AC may discourage them from using the area as a bathroom regularly.

Spray odor solutions. Commercial odor sprays can turn away your dogs and convince them to find another spot to pee at.

Install or relocate. Finally, think about where you will install your outdoor unit. If you’ve already installed it, consider relocating it where your dogs aren’t likely to reach it.

J.A. Bertsch

J.A. Bertsch Heating & Cooling offers professional residential air conditioning services throughout Kootenai County. Our licensed A/C technicians cover all of North Idaho and our neighboring cities. Experience superior, award-winning service 24/7. To get professional help today, give us a call at (208) 635-5480!

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