Did you know your dog could be dangerous…to your air conditioning unit?
Our technicians run into some pretty unusual causes for air conditioning issues. One that you simply cannot make up is unit damage that results from dog urine.
Unfortunately, this isn’t a rare occurrence.
It also isn’t covered by most warranties (and creates very recognizable damage), so read on to figure out what you can do about it.
What’s going on?
Dog urine corrodes the metal on your air conditioner’s condenser coil, which is part of where the magic happens. It’s not a part you want to have issues with.
Because of the acidity of most dog urine, it damages the metal of that coil, which can create a leak. Even a small leak could lead to en entire system repair, depending on the age of your unit.
This is typically an issue with male dogs, and it’s a behavior you want to catch as soon as possible! If you catch your dog taking care of business on your air conditioner, you’ll want to retrain them before it becomes a habit.
Once or twice won’t harm your unit, but once a dog finds a spot they like, they’ll probably keep using it. So what can you do about this?
Preventing the issue
There are two main things you can do to deter your dog from urinating on your air conditioning unit: cover it up and train him to urinate somewhere else.
If you’re going to surround your unit with plants or a fence to keep your dog away, make sure you leave enough room around your unit for good airflow. Your air conditioner needs to pull in air from outside to work properly, so place plants or a fence two to four feet away from your unit.
To train your dog to urinate elsewhere in the yard, you may need to go out and watch him and redirect him. Also, spray a non-toxic pet-repellent garden spray near your air conditioning unit (you can find it at a pet store!) to keep him away from the area.
If your dog is relieving himself on your air conditioning unit, you’ll be able to tell. There will be a bit of discoloration and damage before the urine starts corroding your unit’s metal.
Try to catch it early, because some leaks cannot be repaired, depending on the age of your unit and the refrigerant it uses. There are chemicals we may be able to run through your unit to clean the coil up. But if it’s happening it’s going to get worse, so be proactive!
If you’d like to see what the effect of this looks like, check out this video.