Creepy critters are all good and fun when it comes to Halloween, but not so much when they come uninvited into your home. During Fall, creepy critters of all sizes like to start moving in where it’s warm, which is why your air ducts and air conditioner might find themselves infested with a few uninvited guests if you don’t take the proper precautions.

Keep the area around your outdoor unit clear

  • Your outdoor unit should be elevated and set on a slab, and tall grass, weeds, bushes, or other flora should be cut away and kept at least two feet away from your unit. This will discourage insect infestation but also help it run more efficiently by allowing free airflow.
  • Additionally, if you cover your unit during fall and winter, be sure to cover only the top of it, or use a mesh cover to keep debris out of the fan. Otherwise, a full cover can look like an invitation to small furry animals looking for a snug place to live in the winter.

Use mesh over your vents

  • Vents and flues that lead outside are an easy way for insects to get into your HVAC system. You can easily prevent this by installing wire mesh over the entire opening to let the air out and keep critters out.
  • Pay special attention to your dryer vents – the lint buildup is attractive to small rodents who like to make nests in it.

Make sure your ducts are sealed

  • Cracks or holes in your ductwork are the most common way for pests like roaches, spiders, and other insects to get inside. The good news is that it’s relatively easy to fix these openings, and Energy Star has good information on how to maintain your ducts.
  • Sealing your ductwork is not only good for keeping pests out, but it also helps your system run more efficiently and save energy.

Have regular HVAC maintenance

  • You may not remember to check off everything on your fall “to-do” list. This is a great reason to have regularly scheduled maintenance on your system by certified HVAC professionals. If you neglect proper maintenance or have an older system, critters – creepy or otherwise – can get into parts of your system, causing damage by chewing through lines, making nests, or even dying because they can’t find their way out. Having a regular maintenance agreement is a practical way to keep everything clean and in good working order.
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