A Brief Guide On How To Dog Proof AC Unit

Are you tired of your or other people’s dogs peeing on your outdoor air conditioner unit? If so, you are not alone. We are one of the many homeowners/pet owners who have to deal with the damages dog pee can cause on AC units. Aside from that, dogs can cause other physical damages to your unit by chewing through it. And to prevent this from happening, you must know how to dog proof AC unit efficiently.

Whether it’s your dog or someone else’s, the tips below will be a big help to save your outdoor condenser unit from expensive damage.

What damages can dogs cause to your AC unit?

Dogs can do a lot of damage to certain things, but one thing that’s not often discussed is the problem they can cause on AC units. Here are a few to keep in mind:

🐶Dog urine corrodes the fins

how to dog proof AC unit

The most common problem dogs bring to air conditioning units is damage due to urine. Outdoor condenser units are the main victims here as canines tend to pee on vertical surfaces.

The high nitrogen content of a canine’s urine is the culprit behind the corrosion of your AC fins. Over time, repeated exposure to a dog’s urine will eat away the metal parts of your air conditioner.

Over time, as the fins and metal parts of your air conditioner corrodes, the damage will reach the refrigerant. It can lead to leaks until your unit already needs a replacement.

🐶Dog fur will clog your AC filter

Indoors, your dog can also trigger problems in your air conditioning unit. First, dog fur can easily clog filters faster than it should be. This is more prominent for those with long-haired and high-shedding breeds.

If not cleaned, fur-clogged AC filters will force the unit to compensate for the poor airflow. In the long run, this will lead to poor functions despite increased energy consumption.

🐶Dog dander can stick on your ductwork

Aside from dog fur, dander is also a big problem since it can get into your ductwork. Dander is the loose dead skin cells of canines, which amount varies per breed.

While it’s not as visible as dog fur, dander can accumulate on your air ducts. This can trigger respiratory irritations and skin problems, especially for households with sick family members.

🐶Dogs can chew on your AC parts

Lastly, canines can chew through your air conditioning unit. This applies both to outdoor condenser units and floor standing units. Although these may look tough, nothing beats an aggressive chewer when it comes to damaging home appliances.


How to dog proof AC unit

Although dogs can be a problem when it comes to maintaining your air conditioner, there’s always a workaround for it. Below, I discuss a few hacks that you can use to dog proof your AC to avoid damages:

1. Build a fence around your outdoor unit

Photo Credits – Wikimedia Commons

The best way to protect an air conditioning unit from your dog is to build a fence around it. This applies to the outdoor condenser unit where dogs tend to pee. Aside from your dog, a fence around the condenser unit will also keep it safe from other stray animals.

Meanwhile, you can also barricade your indoor unit by using baby gates. Basically, any physical barrier will do as long as your dog can’t jump over it.

2. Train your dog to a single potty spot

One way to stop your dog from peeing on your outdoor AC unit is to train it to potty on a single spot. This way, it will be easier for you to clean up and you wouldn’t have to deal with stinky dog urine.

Nevertheless, it’s important to know that dogs can still mark around your property even if they are properly potty trained. It’s more obvious among male dogs, especially if there’s a threat or stressor nearby.

If your dog notoriously ‘waters’ your outdoor AC unit every time, you should keep the pooch leashed outdoors.

3. Secure wiring

Indoors, one of the first dog-proofing steps you need to take is securing the wires and cables of your AC unit. While cats are more known to be wire chewers, dogs are no exemptions. Bored canines, especially those suffering from separation anxiety will chew everything that comes their way.

Make sure that all your wirings – not just on your AC – are elevated and far from your pet’s reach. Aside from preventing damage to the unit, it will also protect your dog from the possibility of electrocution.

4. Limit your dog’s access indoors

If your canine is obsessed with damaging your air conditioning unit, you should prevent it from accessing areas of your home. This will save you from expensive damages and your dog from repetitive exposure to electrical risks.

You can do this by using baby gates or setting up wireless fences. No matter what your choice is, you should never resort to violence or physical punishments.

5. Watch out for other canines

Aside from your dog, you should also watch out for other canines that may pee on your outdoor AC unit. This is very common for yards without fences. It’s important to use physical barriers and to warn pet owners of repercussions should they allow their dogs to urinate or defecate on your property.

6. Vacuum-clean your home often

One of the things that could damage your air conditioner unit is dog fur. While there’s no way to fully ‘dog proof’ your AC against this, you can always limit its exposure.

Vacuuming your home regularly will greatly reduce the amount of fur and dander that could get into your air conditioning unit. In turn, it will also reduce your risk of experiencing respiratory irritations and other health problems. 

7. Train your destructive chewer

Lastly, if your dog is a destructive chewer, it will help a lot to train it out of damaging your air conditioning unit. This is the only permanent solution, not to mention that destructive chewers can also target other items in your home aside from the AC.


Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can dog pee break an air conditioning unit?

A: Dog urine has a very acidic composition, which can corrode metal. If a dog pees on your outdoor AC unit repeatedly, the damage will be easily visible. The coils and fins will corrode, which can eventually cause the unit to break. Nevertheless, it takes repetitive exposure to dog urine for this to ultimately happen.

Q: Can I cover my outdoor AC unit?

A: You can cover your outdoor AC unit, but make sure that you’re not blocking where the air comes out. You can install a makeshift shade to protect the unit from direct sunlight. If you’re worried about dog pee, building a fence around it might be the best solution.

Q: Does shading your outside AC unit help protect it?

A: Putting your outdoor condenser unit under a shade can help reduce wear and tear due to harsh elements. However, make sure that the shade doesn’t block the airflow. Also, you should know that putting your outdoor AC unit under a shade doesn’t protect it from other elements like dog urine, flooding, and so on.

Q: Are dogs attracted to AC units?

A: Canines aren’t really attracted to your air conditioning unit. However, male ones would often look for a vertical surface where they can prop their legs to urinate. Unfortunately, this can be your AC unit. It’s the reason why you have to dog proof your outdoor air conditioning unit to avoid potential damages.

Q: Why does my dog mark my air conditioner with urine?

A: Dog will typically mark all over your property, especially if they feel that something is threatening their territory. Overall, this is normal, but you can do something to reduce its occurrence. Also, you should train your dog to urinate only on a specific spot outdoors. This way, it will be easier for you to clean up as well.

Q: Is Freon harmful to dogs?

A: Freon is a type of gas used as a refrigerant in air conditioning units. This is very toxic for both dogs and humans. If your dog ingests Freon by accident, you should bring it to the vet right away. Don’t wait for the adverse symptoms because it will be too late once it shows.

Q: Can dog urine corrode stainless steel?

A: In general, the nitrogen-rich urine of canines can corrode just about any metal. But when it comes to stainless steel, the process of corrosion is much slower. Nevertheless, it can still happen, so stainless steel AC housings aren’t invincible to damage.


Final words

Knowing how to dog proof AC unit will save your pocket from expensive damages. Also, it will protect your dog from potential injuries as air conditioning units can expose your pet to electrocution.

Building a fence around the outdoor unit and securing the indoor unit is a good start. It’s also important to train your dog and give it an alternative activity, so it won’t target your air conditioner.

 When in doubt, you can always consult your dog’s veterinarian or a professional dog trainer.

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