One of the unfortunate realities faced by any building or residential with an installed HVAC is the issue of pests infiltrating the system. The average cost of replacement for HVAC systems is between $4,820 and $9,350, with installation costs for new systems ranging from $6,820 to $12,350. Pests, although they might not harm you, can cause you serious financial damage by damaging your HVAC system. As with most things, prevention is cheaper than cure, so it’s worth being aware of pest problems and how to prevent them before it’s too late (and expensive). It’s also important to note that pests can cause serious damage to your home as well, causing an estimated $70 billion worth of damage globally. Learn the tell-tale signs of pests and rodents in your home and consider getting routine pest inspections by professionals to protect your investment.
What Is An HVAC System?For those who don’t know, HVAC stands for heatings, ventilation, and air conditioning. Most of us may refer to it as the air conditioner (AC) or use an AC instead. The “V” in HVAC is the important distinction (especially today, with the Coronavirus constantly on all of our minds!) because the ventilation system in the HVAC uses fresh outside air, unlike the simpler AC which recycles air – the AC is mainly used to cool and heat homes. Because the HVAC system is more complex, it consists of many more parts compared to the AC, such as the filter, exhaust outlets, ducts, electrical parts, coils, air return, outdoor unit, compressor, and blower. Some parts, like the filter, need to be replaced routinely, click here to find the right filter replacement for your HVAC. The coils and compressors are other parts that naturally may need replacement during the lifespan of your HVAC.
How Do Pests Damage Your HVAC System?
There is a common range of pests that like to cause damage to the HVAC system which includes rodents ( mainly mice and rats), raccoons, cockroaches, ants, and snakes. These perpetrators cause damage in many ways from making holes to causing blockages. Rodents like to make nests and to chew on the electrical wires, this can even cause a fire which not only damages the entire HVAC system but is dangerous. The droppings and food of the rodents inside your HVAC system mean that the harmful bacteria is spread around your home or office through the air. This is the same with cockroaches. In the same way that the harmful bacteria is spread around your home, so will pesticides. So it is not recommended to spray pesticide in your vents and ducts. Despite their size, ants cause serious damage to the condenser, causing failure or a breakdown of the system.
How To Prevent The Pest DamageAs mentioned earlier, it’s important to know the signs of pests being in your home. Keep an eye out for colonies of ants, rodent droppings, and cockroaches. Prevent pests from entering your HVAC system by sealing your ducts. It is recommended that you use various traps, which are not only safer but will attract the pests away from the gaps and cracks in the ducts, and towards the traps. For insects, glue can be used instead of traps. Use vent and flue covers to prevent pests from entering your system. HVAC systems need these flue pipes to expel combustion and prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. If pests block these pipes, it can also be dangerous, so it’s definitely worth installing good quality covers and inspecting them regularly It is recommended that you keep the area clear around your external air conditioning condenser. Keep it raised and clean the area around it regularly to prevent the attraction of rodents. You can even clean the exterior of the unit with a bit of warm water and soap. Ideally, you want to prevent animals from coming near it, so this is a good area to place pet repellents.
Although pests can and do cause serious financial damage and a lot of frustration, they don’t do this out of spite. HVAC systems provide a lot of protection and warm and cool areas which are highly sought after by pests. By knowing that they are attracted to the HVAC system, you can take the necessary steps by preventing pests from getting inside (blocking the ducts, installing flue and vent covers) and by making the system unattractive (clean the external unit, clearing the area around the external unit, and using repellants and traps). Finally, remember that it’s not a good idea to use harmful chemicals and spray pesticides in the vents – this will spread into the interior of the building.