When you think of your heating and cooling system, household pests are probably the last thing that comes to mind. Unless you have had wires destroyed by bugs or rodents, you might not even think about how pests can impact your heating and cooling system. However, household pests can have a very negative impact on your HVAC system, doing everything from compromising the quality of the air you breathe to causing an entire system to shut down.
Several different types of pests can either live in your HVAC system or use the HVAC system as an entry point into your home. These pests include termites, ants, cockroaches, and a variety of rodents. Some of these pests may seek out the HVAC system as a potential source of water because of condensation, while others use vents and air intake systems as entry points to access the rest of the home.
Rodents are a problem for HVAC systems because they are known to chew through electrical wires and supply lines to make nests in HVAC systems. Usually, their damage is relatively easy to detect and you might even be able to spot their nests with just a visual inspection. Foul smells when you use your heating or cooling may indicate that a rodent has entered the ductwork in your home and then died, something that is inconvenient and can impact the usability of your home, in addition to opening the door to disease and other pests. However, some pest infiltration is harder to detect. Cockroaches in your HVAC system may be invisible but may trigger allergic reactions in people.
Unfortunately, even if someone detects one of these problems, the logical-seeming solution is not necessarily the right choice. Many people think of pest control companies as the logical go-to solution. However, it may not be safe for your household or for HVAC equipment for pest control companies to use their standard pesticides and treatments to get to pests that have infiltrated these systems.
Instead, a pest control company should work with your HVAC maintenance company to develop a comprehensive pest control plan. The most important part is preventing access by ensuring that vents and outlets are properly sealed. If the system still requires treatment, the HVAC company can advise on safe pesticides to use and other steps to take to keep your HVAC system pest free.