If you are a dog lover and keep one or two in your home, you should be aware of the effect the animal may have on your air conditioner (AC). Here are some of the ways in which a dog may interfere with the operation or efficiency of an AC:
Peeing On the Outdoor Unit
There are two things about dogs that make them likely to damage your AC's outside unit with their pee. The first thing is that dogs like to pee on things and the second is that dogs are creatures of habit. This means that once a dog starts to chew on the AC's outside unit, it will keep peeing on it every day if it has the chance to do it.
Unfortunately, this is bad for the condenser unit's fins because the dog's pee is acidic and the condenser's coils are metallic. Acid erodes metal, which means the dog's pee will damage the coils. This will reduce the effectiveness of the coils and even lead to refrigerant leakage. Both of these will lead to inefficient cooling from the AC and may even cause overheating and serious damage to the unit.
Apart from peeing on things, dogs also love to chew on things. This is why most dogs' toys are chewable; they need to be able to play with the toys and chew on them without serious damage. Unfortunately, the AC isn't a dog's toy and so it isn't chewable; some parts of the AC can easily be damaged when the dog chews on them. For example, your beloved pet can chew on the electric cables and damage their insulation, increasing the risk of an electrical short circuit. An AC that has a short circuit will always be tripping its circuit breaker, and serious damage can follow if the issue isn't diagnosed and fixed.
Clogging Your AC Filters
There are three main ways in which your pets can accelerate the clogging of your AC filters. First, pets shed hair and dander, and these find their way into your AC system and block the filters. Secondly, your pets will track dirt and debris indoors, debris that sticks to their coats or feet (you don't expect them to wipe their feet on the doormat). Lastly, some dogs also love to pick up things outside and bring them into the house; the dirt on such objects will also clog your filter system.
The two main things you can do to reduce the damage your dog can cause on the AC is to fence the outside AC unit and wash/brush the dog regularly so that they don't shed too much. Consult an HVAC or plumbing contractor for a solution if the damage is already done.