Beware of Dog
The dog may be man's best friend, but he's not always a good friend to man's air conditioning equipment. Dogs love to chew and it's not unusual for dogs to bite through the wire running to an outdoor condenser unit. Some dogs actually get a buzz from the mild shock and will repeat the behavior.
Each year ACU Air gets calls from customers whose air conditioners have quit working after their dogs have chewed through the wiring to their outside condenser units. We have also seen cases in which condensers located in yards with few or no trees have served as surrogate fire hydrants for male dogs. Over time, the acid from the dogs' urine has deteriorated the condenser unit's casing and coil to the point that the entire unit has to be replaced. If you have a dog that likes to chew or that lifts his leg on your condenser, consider fencing off the unit. Make sure that there is a gate wide enough to allow for the removal of the unit should it ever need to be replaced.
One other issue which has come up is house pets lying on floor vents to get warm in the winter or to cool off in the summer. Last summer we had a call from a homeowner with an active litter of puppies. She had noticed a pattern: whenver she allowed her puppies outdoors to run and play and then called them in, the air conditioner quit cooling the living quarters of her home shortly after the puppies came inside. The reason? Each puppy ran to the first air conditioning vent he could find and lay down on it, thereby restricting the flow of cool air into the room.
If you don't have floor vents, you will not have to wory about this last issue. If you do have floor vents and a single pet occassionally lies down on a single vent, it should not create a serious problem -- but take care not to allow multiple pets to restrict the flow of air from multiple vents. This could over tax your heating and cooling system, not to mention run up your utility bills!
Energy Saving Tips
How Your Air Conditioner Works
How Your Heater Works
How Your Heat Pump Works
Selecting an Air Conditioner
Selecting a Heater
Things to Check When Your Air Conditioner Isn't Cooling