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Guarding Your HVAC System Against Critters During Winter

critter moving into home during the winter

While it is still a concern throughout the year, there is an increased likelihood during the colder seasons of small animals making their way into and under your home. These “friendly” little creatures attempt to get out of the cold by making their way into the crawlspace underneath your home. According to the National Pest Management Association, more than one-third of American homeowners (37 %) have seen a rodent in their homes in the past year.

There are 6 main/common animals that tend to “break into” homes during the winter (Although many others can):

  1. Bats
  2. Mice
  3. Squirrels 
  4. Skunks
  5. Groundhogs
  6. Raccoons

The level of comfort one has with the idea of a small rodent underneath their home is going to vary with the individual. However, the idea isn’t the real problem. Squirrels, raccoons, skunks, and rats can wreak havoc on your HVAC system. Rats, for example, like to gnaw on insulation; and some of the larger animals can knock duct runs out of their connections, leaving your conditioned air to pour out into your crawlspace.

This can be a real problem for homeowners. You could end up flushing your money down the drain every month through your utility bill. Or worse, you may need to pay for costing HVAC repairs. When ductwork is knocked loose or insulation is removed from the runs, you can see the efficiency of your system drop dramatically.

mouse infestation in home

Steps To Take To Prevent Critters From Destroying Your HVAC System

Fortunately, there are a few simple steps you can take to guard your HVAC system against critters during winter!

First, inspect your vents regularly for signs of animal activity such as droppings or nests. If you find any, contact an exterminator right away so they can safely remove any critters in your vents before the problem gets worse.

In addition, make sure that all of your vents and ducts are securely sealed with metal screens or mesh cloths so that even if a critter does find its way in, it won’t be able to access any vital components like fans or coils inside your system.

Finally, keep trees and shrubs trimmed around outdoor units so that wildlife isn’t tempted to build nests close by. And if possible, install motion-activated lights nearby too since nocturnal animals will steer clear of bright lights when trying to find shelter.

Taking these proactive measures will help ensure that your HVAC system stays safe and free of critters this winter!

You can also make sure your HVAC system is installed with a critter guard to prevent small animals from crawling under your heating and air conditioning unit. And be sure to verify that your HVAC unit is installed properly, with no openings found around the duct leading from the system to the crawlspace of your home.

attic with critter infestation

Hire an HVAC Professional To Handle The Job

While there are many DIY methods for guarding your HVAC system against critters during winter, it is always a good idea to hire a professional to handle the job. An experienced HVAC technician will be able to inspect and diagnose any issues with your system quickly, identify potential areas where critters can enter, and make sure that everything is sealed correctly. They will also be able to advise on which type of mesh cloths or metal screens would be the most suitable for keeping out critters from your vents and ducts.

Professional HVAC technicians can also provide additional services such as regularly cleaning vents to prevent clogging from dust or dirt, as well as checking that all of the components are in good working order. This will ensure that your system runs efficiently throughout the season without any unexpected problems due to pests or animals getting into your ductwork.

Overall, hiring an HVAC professional can give you peace of mind that your system is protected against critters during winter and that all necessary steps have been taken for optimal performance!

If you need an HVAC technician to inspect and perform maintenance this winter to protect against critters moving into your home, give us a call here at Thomas Service Company in Huntsville, Alabama.