As summer draws to a close, and winter draws steadily nearer, your house is being watched. It is being eyed up as a new home for those creatures who do not like the cold, and before long you could become aware of all sorts of creepy creatures hiding out within your air conditioning system. If this idea is enough to make you shudder, it is time to learn the tell-tale signs that your home has been invaded, so that you can make sure that your air conditioning unit is not exposed to expensive damage.
Did you open up your filter cover to change it with a fresh one and see the tell-tale little black droppings that indicate there's a mouse in the house? You can deduce that it is a mouse if the droppings are 3-5 mm long. Rat droppings, by comparison, are between 12-18 mm long. You may also hear their little claws scurrying through your ducts at night while you are trying to sleep. Both mice and rats can damage your air conditioner so they must be dealt with immediately you find signs they have moved in to live with you.
Once you have removed the rodents from your home, it is important that you get your air conditioner checked by a professional air conditioning service before you use it again for several reasons:
- Rodents love to gnaw, and they have a fondness for wiring. If they have gotten into the wires within the control box of your air conditioning unit you might experience a small wiring short when you turn the unit back on again. However, chewed wiring can also result in a blow out of your electrical circuit, sparks, or smoke!
- Your air ducts need to be professionally cleaned to eradicate all the droppings and urine that are in there. If you leave it in place, the heated air will flow over it and send airborne contaminants out into your living area. Leptospirosis is one disease that is transmitted in the urine of a rat. Bear in mind that rodent urine becomes dust so small that your filter cannot catch it once it is sufficiently dried out, and this is not an airborne particle you want to expose your family to.
Rodents, however, are not the only animal that likes to hide out in your air conditioning ducts.
Bees are enough to make many homeowners squeal and run away to avoid being stung. But bees in your air conditioning system? Sounds like the script for a bad horror movie!
Because an air conditioning system is dark and free of human interference, bees will enter your home through outside vents and use your ducting to set up a hive. Because bees are quiet creatures, it may be some time before you realise they are even there. The problem is that as the size of the hive grows, so do the number of bees.
Once the number of bees in your air conditioner starts to multiply, they can begin to interfere with the movement of the fans, or any other moving part of your air conditioning system if this is where they have built their hive. Additionally, a heavy hive could cause your air conditioning ducts to sag, and even collapse completely.
Once the bees and their hive have been removed, have your air conditioning specialist check the structural integrity of your vents. They should also inspect all of the fans and moving parts in the unit to make sure they are cleaned of sticky honey residue.
Keep your home's air conditioning in perfect working order this winter by knowing what intruders are eyeing up your home for their new hiding spot. By knowing what to look out for, you will save yourself money on repair bills before your air conditioner can be used again for cooling the family next summer.