A quality heating and cooling system keeps your air safe and clean by exchanging outdoor and indoor air in a controlled way. These holes where air can go in and out can make it easier for critters and vermin to come into your home. We have seen many, many varieties of rodents, spiders, snakes, and more inside of furnaces, air conditioners, and ductwork.
How can you keep them out? Fortunately what is good at keeping them out is also good at keeping your heating and cooling system working well. Double score! A well maintained system has plenty of ways to keep unwanted guests out. Knowing what kinds of things are common in our area can help.
Bloomberg reported on the results of the most recent American Housing Survey, which tracks all sorts of data about the national housing supply like the scourge of vermin. In it’s latest survey, New Orleans led the pack in cockroach infestations, followed by Houston, Miami and Atlanta. As for rats, Philadelphia came in first, just ahead of Boston, New York and Washington, D.C.
It might seem like maintaining an HVAC system and controlling pests are two totally different concerns, but they actually overlap in ways. The saliva, skin cells and droppings can cause problems and be irritants for respiratory conditions and asthma. Rodents and spiders and snakes also can cause problems by making themselves homes inside your system, which can damage the sensitive components.
4 Tips to Keep the Critters Out:
- Entry Points. We are not pest control, although sometimes it can feel like it. HVAC companies like us can find drafts, put screens over potential entry points where we need fresh air intake or exhaust. We also can seal up any other obvious holes. However, if you have a true pest issue, calling the professionals is your best bet. They can do an inspection and give great advice on keeping your creepy crawlies out.
- Duct Sealing. When duct tape needs replaced or other ducting materials have degraded over time sealing them is a great way to stop wasting valuable energy. It also stops pests from entering through yet another easy pathway.
- Moisture Control. Puddles of water around your home creates breading grounds for mosquitos and other pesky bugs. It also is a nice spot for other critters to stop for a drink, and perhaps settle in. Using a dehumidifier in your home will also help. Air conditioners already dehumidify some, but in our basement I have another dehumidifier. It not only helps control pests that walk and fly around, but also helps control mildew and mold (which I’m allergic to.)
- HVAC system maintenance. Inspections and tune-ups are the best way to check for signs of an infestation in your system.