When your home's air conditioner acts up, it's normal to suspect the issue is mechanical. However, in some cases, pests cause air-conditioning issues. The information here will educate you on what types of pests can damage your system, how you can spot pest issues, and what you can do to prevent pests from causing damage to your air conditioner.
Pests That Can Damage Your Air Conditioner
Different types of pests damage air conditioners in different ways. Some common pest issues include the ones described below.
Small rodents can maneuver their bodies through small spaces, allowing the rodents to access your system's ducts through the vents. In the ducts, the rodents can die, and this creates a nasty smell in your home that can be hard to locate.
Rodents can cause bigger issues by chewing on your air conditioner’s electrical wires. Rodents can also chew on hoses. Chewed wires not only affect the way your air conditioner performs — or cause a system to stop working altogether — but also create a fire hazard.
Reptiles, including snakes and lizards, can find refuge inside the air conditioner's compressor. If a snake or lizard is near the fan when the system turns on, the blades of the fan can kill the snake or lizard. Their body can cause damage to the blades or other parts of the compressor.
Birds can remove the insulation covering air-conditioning pipes by pecking at the insulation. Once the insulation is removed, the air-conditioning system won't perform as efficiently. Birds nesting in attics will have access to the ductwork, and the birds can cause damage in a way that allows fiberglass particles to enter the air conditioner and compromise the system.
Small birds may access the compressor housing through the vents in the sides of the housing. Damage to the compressor housing may allow larger birds access. When birds nest in the compressor housing, the fan blades can be damaged if the blades encounter the bird or parts of the nest. Also, should the system short-circuit, the nest provides kindling that can lead to a fast-growing fire.
Insects such as ants, wasps, and bees can enter the air-conditioning system and cause issues. An ant mound can prevent the moving parts from moving freely. Ants can carry things 50 times their body weight. Something they carry near the motor, such as a stick, can also cause the system to become damaged.
Wasps and bees can build a nest or hive in the vent, allowing them access to the inside of your home. Wasps and bees can cause a dangerous situation in the home for anyone who is allergic to them.
Steps You Can Take to Protect Your System From Pests
Install a mesh screen specifically made to protect vents to keep rodents and larger insects, like wasps and bees, out of the vents. Use caulk to seal up any holes or cracks in the ductwork. This will also protect the system from pests.
Weed and clean around the compressor to make the area less appealing to rodents, snakes, and lizards. Use the same mesh used to protect the other vents throughout the house to protect the vents in the compressor housing.
The number-one thing you can do to protect your system from pest damage is to have the air conditioner serviced annually. The HVAC technician will know how to recognize the signs of pest concerns and what to do about any issues they find during their system inspection.
Whether you want your air conditioner serviced or you feel you have an issue with pests, we can help you with your air-conditioner needs. Contact us now to discuss your air conditioner and make an appointment.