How to prevent pests from destroying or damaging your AC systems

In the beginning of summers, people regularly find ants, rodents and other pests in their AC units. These pests find their way into homes in search of warmth, food and shelter. These incidents often result in damage to your AC system. Now that summer is around the corner, it’s important to know which pests you might encounter and how to keep them at bay.

Common Pests in AC Systems

• Rodents
Rodents such as mice, rats, opossums, raccoons, and squirrels are talented AC destroyers. These critters can chew through almost anything, and smaller rodents can squeeze through surprisingly small spaces. They will often nest in your home’s walls or attic and use the ductwork to move from place to place. Bigger rodents are especially likely to damage the connections in your air ducts. As they move around, they can make holes in the ductwork where air can escape and add a pretty penny to your energy bill.

Even if the physical damage to your home is minimal, rodents pose major health risks to humans and pets. Droppings, urine and the dander rodents leave behind can contaminate the air and exacerbate respiratory problems. Even worse, a rodent that has died in your air ducts will leave a foul smell that can take weeks to dissipate.

• Ants
Ants clog together in the AC system wiring and can cause short-circuits.

If your AC short-circuits, you’ll need to make a replacement. However, if you catch the problem early, a pest control service can treat the problem in various ways depending on your AC setup.

Signs You’ve Got Company
Foul smells
Skittering, squeaking, or grinding sounds
Animal droppings inside or near the outdoor unit
Increased allergy symptoms
Sudden loss or reduction of heating or cooling

• How to Keep your AC Clear of Pests
When it comes to preventing pests, the best offence is a good defence. Take these measures to avoid housing unwanted guests in your air conditioning system and save on possible repairs.

Call a Pest Control Professional
When bugs get into your AC, it is NOT a good idea to spray pesticides in your vents or ducts. Doing so will allow the chemicals to contaminate the air and harm humans and pets. For the sake of your health, the safest thing to do when you need to remove bugs and animals in your AC system is to set traps or call a pest control service provider. A pest control company will be able to use non-toxic pesticides that get rid of the problem for good.

Seal Up Gaps in Ductwork
Ductwork damages happen when animals break through the seals in your duct connections. If you regularly check your ducts for damage and seal exposed areas, you’ll reduce the risk of pests getting inside.

Cover Vents and Flues
Vents are a major highway between the outside and inside of your home. Installing pest-proof vent covers and screens will keep bugs, birds, rats and other varmints from joining the family.

Schedule Routine AC Maintenance
The most effective way to reduce pest problems is to conduct regular maintenance to your AC system.

Sometimes, animals will damage your unit despite your best efforts. Scheduling regular AC maintenance will help you make sure that any possible break-in points are sealed, components get cleaned of debris, and any problems that do arise are dealt with promptly. At the end of the day, this will keep your AC system working efficiently and give you peace of mind.

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