Advanced Air

How Your Dog Can Secretly Destroy Your Air Conditioner

May 17, 2016

You know that large, noisy metal box in your backyard? That’s part of your air conditioner, and it’s called the condenser.

Let us give you some advice: Don’t let your dog pee on the condenser!

This is why:

Dog urine is acidic and can eat away at your air conditioner, which is what happened above. And this is more than just a cosmetic problem; the urine causes 2 big problems

  • Disintegrated aluminum fins
  • Leaking condensing coil

First, let’s look at both these problems and what they mean for your air conditioner’s performance. Then, we’ll show you how to keep your pooch away using the right kind of fence.

Leaking condensing coil

What your condensing coil does: The condensing coil is responsible for dumping heat outside that your AC collected from inside. Hot refrigerant flows through the coil and is cooled by air that is blown over it.

Screen Shot 2016 05 17 At 10 12 57 Am

What a leaking condensing coil means: Your refrigerant will leak out of the coil and leave your air conditioner useless. If there is just a couple small leaks, a good AC tech can fix them and get you back up and running.


But when dog urine is involved, usually there are many holes in the coil and it’s not worth the money to repair it. In that case, you have 2 choices:

  • Replace the coil only. This is only an option if a replacement coil can be found (more difficult on older models of air conditioners). Plus, it’s so expensive, you’re usually better off if you…
  • Replace the whole outside unit. It’s usually not much more than replacing the whole coil. And you’ll get a newer, more efficient AC with a manufacturer’s warranty.

If the coil isn’t leaking, you’ll still have the problem of...

Disintegrated aluminum fins

What fins do: The fins attach to the condensing coil to give it a larger surface area. A larger surface area helps get rid of the heat faster, making the AC more efficient.

Screen Shot 2016 05 17 At 10 13 11 Am

What disintegrated fins mean: So long as there isn’t a leak in the coil (see above), your air conditioner will still technically work. It just won’t work well because it will be much less energy efficient. And that has some long-term consequences, such as:

  • Higher energy bills—Since your AC can’t get rid of heat as well, it won’t cool your home as quickly, which will mean longer run times and higher cooling bills.
  • More breakdowns—Longer runtimes mean you’re more likely to get stuck with costly repairs.
  • Shorter AC lifespan—More wear and tear means the air conditioner probably won’t last as long.

So now that you know how serious of a problem this can be, what can you do about it? Simple:

Solution: Keep your pooch away from your air conditioner with a fence

Man’s best friend can be an air conditioner’s worst nightmare. So keep your furry friend away from the AC.

The best way to do this is to put a small fence around the air conditioner. Make sure the fence is at least 3 feet from the AC. And it shouldn’t obstruct the airflow to the air conditioner.

A small, metal fence like the one below could do the trick.

No Dig Powder-Coated Steel Decorative Metal Fence Panel from Lowe’s


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