Heating and Air Quality Advice

What Pests Can Do to HVAC Components

Posted by Jennifer Rushing on Fri, Dec 30, 2016 @ 09:10 AM

 

Pests are the bane of every home. They make it dirty, unsafe, and sometimes even downright unlivable. Pests can strike when you least expect them to, they can make their homes in your attic or your basement, they can even make nests within your walls, and even inside furniture.

When pests invade these areas we tend to notice them immediately. However there is always one crucial area that is often overlooked; your HVAC system.

When pests invade your HVAC system the problem is compounded because this system circulates the air around your house. Poor quality air is unhealthy air.

The pests that are most common in the home are the ants, mice, roaches, rats and spiders. However, raccoons, squirrels, bees, wasps, and hornets also count.

 

HVAC + Pests = Trouble

But your HVAC system is durable, right? It’s designed to last for years, right?

Don’t underestimate what these little critters can do.

  • Damage HVAC Components – In the process of making homes for themselves pests can destroy vital components like compressors and filter. Filters are more likely targets for bugs because they take on the contour of natural nests while pipes, tubes and ductwork can look attractive to rats and raccoons.
  • Cause Allergies – Raccoons, rats, and other furry pests can shed dander and hair follicles that trigger allergies in people with overactive immune systems.
  • Cause Bad Odor – When marking territory as their own, furry pests tend the use excrement and urine to keep others away. When excrement and urine are introduced into your HVAC system expect health problems to follow.

Pest-Proof Your HVAC System

Pests are attracted to a location for a number of reasons; it can be close to a food source, it can be a source of water or moisture. For some pests, even the mere accessibility or warmth of an area is a draw.

Since removing warmth is out of the question, concentrate on removing accessibility and the nearby food and water sources instead.

  • Removing Food and Water Sources – Standing water can gather in the ductwork and tubes of an HVAC system, make sure to remove them. The food denial strategy can also be applied to the rest of your house; make sure the trash bins are sealed tight, the food adequately covered in airtight containers, and the pipes are free from leaks.
  • Remove Accessibility – Pests can enter your house through gaps in the walls and windows, sometimes they can even enter through the attic. Fix gaps with caulking and periodically check your attic for any unwanted guests.
  • Remove Clutter – Sometimes pests see clutter as their natural environment. Clutter also helps hide pests from plain sight. Clutter can be in the form of garbage, unused items, and even stacks of newspaper, magazines or boxes.
  • Schedule Regular System Inspections/Cleanings – Checking things out for yourself is one thing; having a professional look things over is another. A good HVAC specialist should be able to spot potential pest problems and prevent them from developing.

A pest problem should never be taken lightly, timely action will not only save you money; it will save you from a host of medical problems as well.