How to Protect Your HVAC Systems from Pest Infestation
By: Rita Stadler
Various seasons bring different challenges in form of different pests. The HVAC systems are an ideal place for several types of pests. The damp and warm environment of these systems is very inviting for pests to make them their home. However, pests in your HVAC system can mean increased utility bills, repair expenses and severe health problems. Here’s how you can prevent pests in your HVAC system.
What are the Signs of Pest Infestation?
The first step towards protecting your HVAC system from pests is to look for signs of their presence. Certain habits and natural behaviors of pests leave signs. These include scratches on the walls chewed ducts and valves, droppings, feathers etc. Once you spot such signs of pest infestation, you need to identify the type of pests and the extent of the damage caused.
What Kind of Pests Can Harm the HVAC System?
The 5 types of pests most commonly infesting the HVAC systems are as follows:
- Raccoons and Squirrels – These pests can easily chew through the ductwork and vents. The holes in ducts will allow warm and cold air to escape which will cause an increase in the utility bills.
- Insects – Dark and cool places are ideal hideouts for these pests. They may not cause major harm but dust mites may trigger allergy attacks and cockroaches are known carriers of diseases.
- Rats and Mice – Since rodents like to crawl into tight spaces, they can cause severe damage to your HVAC system. These pests often chew through refrigerant lines, duct material and other components of the system which might result in expensive repairs.
- Snakes – They are incapable of regulating their own body temperature and hence are drawn to the heat generated in the condenser units. They can die if the fan blades start and this may damage the blades and parts of the HVAC system. Keep in mind that long grass and unkempt yards are inviting for snakes. Hence always keep the exterior areas around the building free of overgrowth and weeds so that snakes don’t invade the HVAC system as it is easily accessible with its multiple openings and vents.
- Birds – Their droppings can accumulate and adversely affect the quality of air circulated through the air conditioner. They can choke the filters and the particles from the dried droppings can get sucked into the fresh air circulation. These particles can cause serious health concerns such as candidiasis, histoplasmosis, E.coli infection, cryptococcosis etc. Besides birds dwelling in and around an air conditioning system can peck off the insulation which covers the pipes and the debris such as feathers, twigs from their nests can conk off the air conditioner’s compressor.
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How to Keep the Pests Out of the HVAC System?
These simple tips will help prevent pests from invading your HVAC system:
- After installation clean and seal all the ducts, vents and flues
- Check for any gaps and cracks
- Clean outdoor units and install air-vent screen
- Always keep the system free of any vegetation and debris
- Change the filters regularly
- Regularly get your vents inspected and keep them well-maintained
- Take care of any water buildup and keep areas dry, airy and less-inviting for household pests
When to Call for Professional Pest Control Services?
Children and pets are most vulnerable when it comes to acquiring infection and diseases spread by pests. Hence, if there are children or pets in your home, leave pest control to the professionals for satisfactory results. Also in case of stubborn pests or severe infestation when your own efforts fail to keep them away from your HVAC system, you should seek the help of professional experts.
If you too are dealing with a pests in your HVAC system and are unable to handle it yourself, seek the help of professional pest control experts for effective results.
When people find their homes and offices infested with pests, it is not uncommon for them to panic. Raymond Web has taken upon him the task to educate people on pest prevention and control strategies helping them keep their surroundings healthy, safe and pest-free. Being the digital marketing manager for Take Care Termite & Pest Control, in Tracy, CA, he has in-depth understanding of people and their pain points due to pests, which he efficiently uses in his content to educate people and add value to their lives.