It’s that time of year when creepy-crawlies start coming out of the woodwork and, believe it or not, could end up in your HVAC system!
If you live near a wooded area or a body of water, pest infestation is more likely and can lead to costly problems. Pests often want to burrow and tunnel. This can create holes in your HVAC system, which results in leaks that may be expensive to fix, and can cause your system to work harder to maintain a desired temperature.
In addition, dead pests can create a stench, which blows through your vents and can cause your home to stink. These decaying pest corpses can also affect the indoor air quality of your home and make breathing difficult for particularly sensitive occupants.
Check out these tips for keeping your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system free from infestation:
Tip #1: Look for access points, gaps, or holes around your HVAC system, pipes, lines and foundation and use an expanding foam or caulk to fill the cracks (follow manufacturer recommendations).
Tip #2: Install aluminum wire mesh screens over your exterior vents so small animals cannot wander in. Check periodically to make sure that the screens stay sealed and have not come loose.
Tip #3: Periodically check your vents with a flashlight for signs of unwanted pests to help prevent colonization. Vacuum up or trap any unwanted intruders and remove them from your home. NEVER spray insecticides into your vents!
Tip #4: To minimize the chances of pests entering your HVAC system from outside your home, bug repellent can be placed near the perimeter of your outdoor cooling and heating units. However, be sure to follow manufacturer instructions with any chemical repellent, and NEVER spray or spread them directly into/onto your HVAC units, filters or vents — this could permanently damage equipment, lead to serious health risks for your family, and degrade your indoor air quality. When in doubt, hire a professional exterminator to treat your property for insects and other pests.
Tip #5: Make sure there is no standing water near your outside unit as this can attract bugs. If your unit is in a low area, take measures to prevent water from collecting during rainstorms.
Tip #6: Keep the area clean. Walk around your outdoor unit every now and then to make sure that the area is free of debris that might attract critters to make a home. Be sure to keep an eye out for anthills, reptiles, rodents and other pest nests.
Tip #7: Maintain your ducts. Loose seals and cracks are one of the easiest ways for bugs to enter your ductwork. Call an HVAC professional to have your ducts cleaned and sealed this season!