We all know that dogs like to dig holes and destroy lawns. But you may be surprised to learn that they can also damage your air conditioner. When your dog(s) decide to make your air conditioner a place to mark, it can be quite corrosive. Even newer air conditioners with heavy-duty protective grates can suffer damage from dog urine, you just won’t be able to see it. This kind of damage can be costly and depending on the amount of deterioration, there can be three possible issues:
• Ignore it, but your air conditioner will be less efficient
• The condenser coils will need to be replaced
• The entire outdoor unit will need to be replaced
There are ways to deal with each of these issues and when each option should be considered.
How Does AC Condenser Unit Work & What is it’s Function?
The outdoor unit of your air conditioner works to remove the heat that your air conditioner collected inside your home. This process starts when hot refrigerant flows through the condensing coil. A fan will blow air over the coil will absorb heat from the coil, to cool the refrigerant. The compressor pumps the cool refrigerant back into the unit inside your home to absorb more heat. This process continues to repeat. The condensing coil has aluminum find attached to it. These fins look gray and are there to help with the air conditioner’s energy efficiency by increasing the surface area of the coil. The more surface area there is, the faster the coil can dump heat. Makes sense, right? Let’s go over the issues we can encounter when dog urine damages the outdoor unit.
Dog Urine Condenser Corrosion Reduces Energy Efficiency
If less than 25% of the fins are are damaged and the coil isn’t leaking, you may be ale to just leave it, for now. Yes, the fins increase energy efficiency, but missing a few does not make your air conditioner inoperable. You will just have higher air conditioning bills which can be a problem living in Las Vegas! You do however need to prevent your dog from continuing to urinate on it or face replacing the coil or even the entire condenser unit.
AC Condenser Coil Replacement
When there is a lot of damage to the fins you will see the condenser coil. It’s the metal tube that the fins hide. Because the condenser coil works to remove heat the air conditioner has absorbed in your home, it needs to be protected. The coil really needs to be replaced if you can see extensive damage to the coil or more than 25% of the coils has been disintegrated. In this situation you will also need to replace the coil if your air conditioner is still new. Most replacement coils can be installed for around 50% of what it would cost to replace the whole outdoor unit.
Replacing the Entire Outdoor Condenser AC Unit
You will need to replace the entire outdoor unit when the air conditioner is more than 10 years old and should be replaced anyway, the replacement coil will cost more than 50% of the cost to replace the entire outdoor unit or there is no replacement coil available.
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Do your best to keep your dogs away from your outdoor unit to prevent any damage and contact Air Supply Heating & Air Conditioning to answer any questions you may have. Call us for all your air conditioning needs this summer.