Winter is here. It's time to give your HVAC system a thorough once-over. Scheduling a winter inspection will ensure that your system is ready to keep you warm once the temperatures really start to dip. You should also change the furnace filter to ensure proper air flow through your home. You might not realize this, but now's a good time to protect your HVAC system against pest infestations. Pests can wreak havoc on your heater and your ducts, especially during the winter when they're trying to escape the cold weather. Pests such as mice, rats, and roaches will find your heater and ducts particularly cozy this winter. Here are three steps you can take to keep pests away this winter:
Protect the Ducts
When it comes to keeping pests away from your HVAC system, and out of your home, the best place to start is with the ducts. The first thing you should do is have your ducts inspected for damage, especially cracks and disconnected joints. Pests will find these damaged areas beneficial when trying to gain access to your heater. The next thing you should do is have your ducts professionally cleaned. The dead bugs, droppings, and dander will attract other pests. Not only that, but those pollutants can filter through your home and make it difficult for you to breathe. Once you've got your ducts cleaned, you should make sure that all your vent covers are firmly in place.
Clear the Debris
After you've taken care of your ducts, you'll need to turn your attention to your heating and air conditioning units, particularly the area around the units. The dirt and debris that has collected could provide nesting material for pests. First, be sure the dirt and dust are removed from around the heating unit. Like the ducts, this dirt could contain droppings that will attract other pests. Finally, you'll want to clear the debris from around your exterior air conditioning unit, especially weeds and other debris that could serve as nesting places for rats and mice. While you're doing that, take a minute to inspect the wiring attached to your air conditioner. Rats and mice could have chewed through the wiring. If you notice any chew marks on the wiring, schedule a service call as soon as possible.
Remove the Odor
Once you've cleared the area around your air conditioner, you'll want to wash the coils with warm, soapy water. Fill a bucket with warm water and add several tablespoons of dish detergent. Use a scrub brush to wash the coils in your air conditioning unit and then rinse well with water. Washing the coils will remove droppings, urine and other odors that could attract other pests.
Don't let pests ruin your winter. Use the tips provided here to keep pests away from your HVAC system. If you notice signs of pest damage, be sure to call your HVAC technician immediately. For more information on maintenance for HVAC, contact an HVAC specialist near you.