Quick and Easy Fixes to Prevent Bugs from Coming in Through Your AC

Quick and Easy Fixes to Prevent Bugs from Coming in Through Your AC

When the weather is too hot, bugs will try and find a more temperature-controlled or cooler environment. They will also be similarly drawn to warmth when the weather is too cold. During extreme weather like in the summer or winter months, homeowners will often see a more significant influx of bugs in their backyard trying to get through their air conditioners.

However, summer is the more problematic period as this is when bugs are more active versus the cold months of winter when they become lethargic and inactive. They will seek any way in, with your AC and their associated vents often being targeted for passage. Bugs like cockroaches, flies, mosquitoes, and spiders are typically attracted to AC units as they also provide a damp and protective environment that is conducive for them. The dirt captured by the AC’s air filter can also become a food source.

Quick and Easy Fixes to Prevent Bugs from Coming in Through Your AC

Problems with Bugs and your AC Unit

Bugs will try to find whatever passageway they can into a home. Even a crack that is just 3 millimeters wide will suffice. AC units are often used as entry points because their systems have vents that lead outside. The vents and air ducts will often provide passage into other home areas once the bugs get through the AC. Even worse, when the home is well insulated, this provides a dark enclosed, and moist environment where bugs will thrive as they can avoid other predators.

Older AC unit cooling systems often produce puddles of water or condensate, which will attract bugs. Since ACs are also typically installed in hidden corners or enclosures, this provides bugs’ with a dark environment for living and breeding. Dirty air filters may also have captured organic matter like dry skin, dust, hair, or other insect remains that bugs can use for food. Once bugs get into your HVAC system, they can cause all kinds of havoc, including:

  • Building nests around air filters, thus blocking good airflow
  • Dirtying the filters and system with waste and shed skin cells that cause air quality in the home to deteriorate
  • Breeding and growing the colony till it spreads through the system and home
  • Causing a bug infestation to take hold in the main home
  • Eating through wires, causing the AC to breakdown

If you have seniors, small children, or people with compromised respiratory or immune systems in the home, the worsened air quality could cause them to become sick. Given these dangers, preventing bugs from invading the house through your AC is essential.

Ways to Prevent Bug Invasions

  • Inspect Ductwork: Bugs that linger in the basement or attic will often find their way to the rest of the house through damaged ductwork. It is important to check for any cracks that could provide an entryway into the system. Inspect the connections, especially at the joints. The easiest way to do this is to turn on the AC and feel if there is any air leaking that indicates a gap. Small gaps can be sealed with duct tape, but bigger ones or undetected ones may require you to call in a technician.
  • Cleanliness: Keep the area around your AC condenser clear of debris to discourage insects from coming close. You can also help the situation by keeping a clean indoor and outdoor environment. Keeping your house clean of food crumbs and spills will also eliminate bugs’ food source they need to survive.
  • Get Rid of Puddles: Newer ACs that are correctly installed usually do not have problems with puddles or leakage. Older models should be closely inspected for any leaks or water spots. If you notice leaks, clean them up as quickly as possible to discourage bug infestation. If the leak persists, you should call an HVAC professional as it may indicate a more complex issue like clogged lines or dirty coils.
  • Screen your Vents: Installing screens on your internal and external air vents can also help. These screens can prevent bugs from gaining access to your home. If using a window AC unit, the area around the unit should also be screened. Be careful to ensure not even the tiniest gap is left exposed.
  • Regular Maintenance: Regularly scheduled maintenance is the best way to avoid bug problems. As part of maintenance work, your technician will carry out a thorough clean-up of the system to eliminate food sources that attract bugs and ensure all the parts are properly intact, leaving no gaps for bugs to invade. An inspection will also include checking there is no damage to the system due to prior infestations that may cause later breakdowns of the AC unit. If anything requires repairs, your technician can safely and effectively see to it, so you enjoy reliable use of your system.
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