Creepy Critters in Your HVAC - Heating Specialties

Creepy Critters in Your HVAC

Critters in HVAC

The last thing you want in your air ducts are creepy little critters that can compromise your air quality — even if it is almost Halloween. Pests and insects are always looking for a place to nest, and if they find their way into your air ducts, they’ll find their way inside your home, attracted by the smell of food, refrigerant, or moisture from the compressor hose.

Pests you might find in the air ducts

  • Dust mites—These critters are so tiny you can’t see them with the naked eye, but they are around in great numbers, living off dead skin cells. Over a lifetime, the average human sheds roughly half his/her bodyweight in dead skin cells—it’s a major component of dust, and you can be sure there’s a lot of it floating around in your air ducts. The best thing to do is to install a good air filter and keep it changed regularly.
  • Fleas—If you find fleas in your HVAC, you likely have a breach somewhere in the perimeter. There may be a tear in tubing or a loose duct joint. A professional HVAC inspection will reveal any places that need to be patched up.
  • Stink bugs—These flat, odorous insects are a problem in many areas. Stink bugs typically start seeking shelter in places like your AC unit beginning in the fall. If you have a problem with them, it’s a good idea to set out traps around your equipment.
  • Cockroaches—It seems like roaches are able to squeeze in just about anywhere. They typically don’t like to hang around near the fan areas of your ductwork because dry air keeps their eggs from hatching. However, having them skittering about inside your ventilation system can be bad for you as they carry diseases and can cause allergic reaction, triggering asthma symptoms.
  • Spiders—Critters with 8 legs instead of 6 also skitter into your ductwork through holes or cracks. While they’re not likely to do much damage to your HVAC, they can pack a punch when they bite. You can help keep them outside where they are more useful by screening over vent openings and making sure all holes are patched.

The proper way to get rid of insects

Rule number one is: pesticides are not a good idea. Your first instinct may be to run to the store and buy a can of bug spray. However, if you’re spraying for bugs in your ventilation system, remember those fumes are going to get spread throughout your house the next time your turn on your heating or cooling system. This could have a negative effect on your indoor air quality and maybe even cause you or your pets to get sick.

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