Hardly anyone likes insects and other creepy crawlies. Even fewer people enjoy them in their homes. It can be frightening to find bugs crawling all over your home, especially if you have no idea where they’re coming from.
Though there are lots of places bugs can make their way into your home, today we’re going to go over how they can get in through your home’s AC system.
Can Bugs Really Get in Through My HVAC System?
Some people are surprised to learn that bugs can get in through their air conditioners. With a window unit, it makes a lot of sense. If it’s not snug enough in the window, it’s a prime location for pests.
But central AC systems can bring in bugs, too. The condenser unit makes a great home for bugs, providing warmth, a soothing noise, and even some moisture. Most bugs thrive in these conditions, making your AC a prime location for an infestation.
1. Make Sure There Are No Water Leaks
Some pests love water and will seek it out. You might first think of mosquitos, who love stagnant pools of water, but there’s another critter that’s much more feared that loves it as well. Cockroaches, some of nature’s nosiest and most hated bugs, are attracted to water like flies to honey.
If there are any leaks from your air conditioning system, there’s a chance roaches will be drawn to your home. They’ll want to make this damp new environment their own and will have no trouble moving in for the long haul.
Inspect your AC system for any source of leaks or pooling water. If there’s water dripping off or under the condenser unit, call an HVAC professional. Not only is it a siren song for roaches, it’s a sign that your system needs to be repaired in some way.
Another source of dampness you should check is any outdoor spigots. Make sure they’re closed tight so they don’t create a damp environment.
2. Keep Foliage Away From the Condenser Unit
Bugs absolutely love plants. It’s like they get to live in their very own rain forest, safe and secure. They have food, water, and even shelter. This makes moving any foliage away from the condenser a no brainer.
The general rule of thumb is to keep all sides of the condenser clear of anything in a two or three-foot radius. Though the plants might look like a nice landscaping piece, they’re not worth it if it means an infestation in your home.
Keeping plants away from window AC units is even more important. This is because bugs are small enough to slip through the fins on AC units. If the unit wasn’t installed correctly, this can quickly become a problem. Give your local HVAC service provider a call and see the company can reinstall it in a more bug-tight way.
3. Be Strategic With Your Landscaping
Speaking of plants, make sure you’re strategic with how your property is landscaped. Having a tropical rain forest in the backyard is appealing and relaxing, like having your own tropical oasis. Lots of plants, however, can be the harbinger of bugs and even small animals like rodents.
A great and tasteful way to combat this problem while still having a well-maintained yard is to install rock gardens. “Rock garden” is a generic term that describes a wide variety of modern architectural trends. It can mean gravel, especially in areas around your condenser. It can also mean a brick path or even large stones from the river.
This will greatly cut down on the amount of bugs on and around your property.
4. Keep Air Vents Covered and Protected
The most common way for small bugs and critters to get into your home is via your ducts. If you keep seeing bugs and spiders crawling in your home, that’s the most likely spot they’re coming in through.
A great way to combat this problem is by installing insect screens over the ducts in and outside your home. These screens will stop bugs in their tracks, greatly reducing the number of insects that get in your home.
This is a project that you can do yourself if you have the tools, patience, and general working knowledge of your home’s ductwork system. Otherwise, a company can be hired to do it for you, saving you time.
5. Clean Out Those Gutters
Your gutters are a prime spot for bugs to congregate. This is because leaves and other debris accumulate inside these gutters throughout the years. A sizable pile can form, consisting of great food and bedding options for bugs, making them a target for creepy crawlies.
Cleaning your gutters on a regular basis not only keeps away bugs, but it helps maintain them as well, protecting them from damage. This task should be done about twice a year. If you have a lot of trees, pine in particular, it might be a better idea to make the job quarterly. You can use a stepladder, a trash bag, and a good pair of outdoor gloves to get the job done.
6. Keep the Condenser Clear
The condenser is the portion of your air conditioning system that rests on a concrete slab outside. Some people think this is the only component in their AC system, but there’s typically an air handler inside your home as well. Regardless, the compressor is where bugs typically jump into your home.
It’s important to keep everything away from this unit, not just plants. This applies to plants, trees both large and small, and any fences that may be on the property. Having items too close to the condenser blocks airflow and could keep your machine running in overtime.
Trim low-hanging tree branches and make sure there’s no trash around the unit. Piles of leaves are another no-no: just think how many bug species would love to make them their home.
7. Check for Cracks, Holes, and Other Defects
Bugs are pretty tiny. So tiny, in fact, that they can get in through cracks so small you’ve overlooked them dozens of times. It’s kind of like an octopus that can morph and fit itself through tiny spaces. You might not think the bugs can fit, but you’re probably wrong.
The drywall around the condenser unit may have small cracks or holes in it. Bugs can wriggle their way into your home here or via any cracks in the unit itself. Patching up minor cracks yourself is a relatively quick job that doesn’t cost a lot to do. Get some caulk and patch up these weak spots as thoroughly as you can. If the damage is more extensive, it’s probably best to make a phone call to the pros so you can get some assistance.
Schedule a Tune-up With AC By J
One thing you can do to make sure your AC system is bug-free is to schedule a yearly tune-up with AC By J. By making sure your air conditioner is in tip-top shape, we can also make sure it’s clear of bugs. We also offer a full range of heating and cooling services in Scottsdale. If you’d like to learn more about this or any of our other services, give us a call and schedule an appointment!