Learning About Residential Furnaces

Air Conditioning System Repairs You Might Need When Your Home And AC Are Invaded By Rodents

It's common to have a problem with mice or rats in your house occasionally. Rodents are often present outdoors whether you live in the city or country, so it's a matter of time until one finds its way inside. You can usually deal with a stray rodent in your house effectively, but when conditions are right and your house is overrun with a rodent infestation, your house can suffer severe damage. Even your air conditioning system can be affected. Here's how mice and rats can damage your AC and how to reduce the risk of rodent damage.

The Damage Rodents Can Cause Your Air Conditioner

Rodents are likely to cause damage to your air conditioner in the winter when they're seeking a place to shelter from the cold and the air conditioner is idle. Tiny mice can often slip through the condenser cage outside, and once they get in there, they can build nests that clog the parts, urinate on electrical components, and chew through wiring. A rodent can even chew through parts like the refrigerant line. If mice stay in your condenser all winter, they may leave a lot of damage behind when they leave in the spring.

Rodents can also infest the air ducts and air handler of your air conditioning system if they find a way inside. The ducts are ideal wintering spots for rodents since they have frequent warm breezes and are isolated from humans. Rodents can leave droppings in your AC system and a path of destruction along with a foul odor. The first step is to get rid of the mice or rats with the help of a pest expert if needed, and then have AC repairs done.

Air Conditioning System Repairs That May Be Necessary

If you're lucky, the mice just used your AC for shelter and weren't too destructive, but since rodents like to chew and gnaw constantly, your AC may need to have wiring replaced if the insulation is chewed off. The AC repair technician will check the inside of the condenser carefully for signs of damage from the rodent urine on metal or electronic parts.

If the mice made a pinhole in the refrigerant line or gnawed through it completely, the line has to be repaired and refrigerant filled, which could be a costly repair. You might need to have the ducts and air handler cleaned to get rid of the mouse odor and to improve the quality of air in your home.

How To Keep Rodents Out Of Your Air Conditioner

One thing that helps keep rodents out of the condenser is to clear vegetation away from the unit so rodents aren't attracted to it. If you've had a rodent problem in the past, check the condenser regularly and look for droppings around the unit so you can take quick action to eliminate the mice before they multiply. Talk to your HVAC technician about covering the unit or other steps you can take to keep mice out.

Sealing gaps in your home so rodents can't get in your attic and then in your air ducts can also help. You might also put screens on the flue and vents so rodents can't build nests in the pipes or squeeze through to get inside the air handler.

Contact an HVAC contractor near you if you have need of air conditioning system repair services.