Five Air Conditioning Enemies You Need to Be Aware Of

You depend on your air conditioner to keep you cool when summer cranks up the temperature, and that means you likely want to take care to protect and preserve it. However, your air conditioner could also face any one of a number of different “enemies” every single day. What do these enemies have in common? Simple: you might not expect them or realize just how damaging they could be to your system. On this blog, we’ll discuss five of these potentially dangerous things and how you can take care to prevent them from damaging your system.

Dogs & Cats

If you have a pet, there’s no question you probably love and adore them as a member of your family. Pets provide more than just companionship for many people: they can be a best friend, adventure buddy, and a smiling face to cheer you up when you feel down. However, pets can be a huge enemy of your air conditioner, particularly ones that shed. Pet hair is one of the leading factors in your air filter needing replacement, and pet dander is a huge allergy trigger that can swirl around in your system if you don’t change your filter often enough.

Furthermore, male dogs in particular have a tendency to mark their territory through urinating. While this is normal, you certainly don’t want it in the house, and you definitely don’t want him doing this on the copper refrigerant lines that lead to your outdoor unit. His territory marking is corrosive and actually could eat a hole in the line if he does it enough.


Ants are constantly searching for food sources or a new place to live, and that means it’s only a matter of time before they begin to scout your air conditioner. That’s where it starts: one and gets into your electrical system and gets zapped by touching the wrong thing. However, when an ant dies, they release a chemical that alerts other ants to come and help. This brings more and more ants to the rescue, who also eventually get zapped, and the cycle continues. Believe it or not, ants have actually been known to cause electrical shortages in outdoor units!

Your Lawnmower & Weed Whacker

Yard care is a demanding and necessary chore for homeowners, but it’s also one that puts a lot of added strain on your HVAC system. However, the weekly mowing or edge trimming releases a ton of dust, dirt, and grass pollen into the air, and this pollen is concentrated when you have to empty the collecting bag when you’re done. This dust and debris gets carried into your home, where it can get caught up in your HVAC system and contribute both to allergy attacks and to filling up your air filter.

Leaves & Outdoor Debris

Dust, dirt, small sticks, leaves, and other yard debris can actually be a serious problem for your air conditioner. Your outdoor unit needs an unrestricted flow of air through its cooling fins in order to remove heat from the refrigerant in your outdoor coil. The more heat that can be removed in this way, the more efficient your system will be. However, fins that have become clogged up with dirt and dust, sticks that have bent fins to restrict airflow, and even old leaves stuck to the outside of your unit can all restrict this airflow, leading to reduced efficiency and increased wear and tear. Make sure you regularly sweep the area around your outdoor unit away to keep the air flowing smoothly and always keep plants and bushes at least three feet away from your outdoor unit at all times.

Home Intruders

Your refrigerant lines need to be composed of a type of metal that passes heat extremely well in order to maximize efficiency, and that’s why many systems utilize copper pipe to do the job. However, there’s a downside to this: copper is a naturally-occurring material, and supply is limited, which means its price tends to fluctuate pretty wildly. Lately, with many of the copper mines running dry, the value has skyrocketed, which has prompted thieves to break into homes to steal the copper piping and electrical lines. The best thing you can do to prevent this is to make sure your outdoor unit is secured behind a locked fence and preferably out of view of passers-by. You should also make sure that all lines that are not contained within your outdoor unit itself are covered by insulation (which also helps your system run better as well).

Do you need your air conditioning system repaired? Trust the Fredericksburg air conditioning team from 72 Degrees Air Conditioning & Heating to get it done right. Contact us online to book your service today!