When winter turns to spring, and eventually summer, pests come crawling out from hiding in search of food, moisture and shelter. Because your HVAC system keeps temperatures comfortable and you have food available in your pantry, your home is a great place for bugs and vermin to thrive.
Unfortunately, even the tiniest of insects can cause irreparable damage to your HVAC system and house. This is of course in addition to the medical concerns that come with disease-carrying vermin residing in close quarters. You can prevent these unwelcome guests from entering your home by following just a few steps to pest-proof your home this spring.
- Have a Professional Inspect Your HVAC System
You may not realize how susceptible your HVAC system is to pest problems. Schedule an inspection with a local HVAC specialist and ensure that no sign of pests goes unnoticed. In addition, you will ensure that your system is ready for the spring and summer heat to come.
- Clear out Existing Pest Waste
Once an area has been “marked” by pests, it becomes a pest-friendly zone. Once pests have inhabited an area, is a good sign to similar pests that they too can make that area their new home.
If you notice signs of pests such as scratches, chewed cords, damaged wood, droppings or dead bugs, thoroughly clear out those areas and make sure that pests don’t feel welcome. This can also prevent the spread of disease and to improve indoor air quality. After all, dust, dander and bacteria from pests can greatly affect indoor air quality, which in turn can leave residents feeling allergy-like symptoms.
- Seal Vents and Other Entry Points
Dealing with pests after they’ve entered your home is challenging. As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Take inventory of the potential entry points throughout your home. Vents, flues, windows, doors and other small cracks and openings leave your home vulnerable to pests. Sealing up these entry points with caulk, weather-stripping and insulation keeps pests at bay and as an added bonus, improves your home’s energy efficiency.
- Sure up Your Ductwork
One of the most common places for pests to hide once they have entered your home is your HVAC system ductwork. Properly sealing off entry points to your ducts will minimize pests’ ability to hide and navigate your house. Make sure that all panels are properly connected and that all screws are fastened tight. It may not keep pests out of your home, but this will certainly manage how easily they get around while they are inside.
- Control Vegetation Around your Exterior Unit
Most homes have an outdoor component powering the HVAC system called a condenser. This component alone costs around $2,000 and is responsible for cooling your home. The last thing you want to find out at the beginning of the spring season is that your condenser is not working. In order to keep pests away and keep your condenser working, make it as uninhabitable as possible. This means keeping grass and other plants trimmed around back from your outdoor unit.
- Limit Moisture and Humidity
Bugs love damp, humid environments. The more comfortable bugs are around your HVAC unit and inside your home, the more likely they will damage things. Ensure your yard has proper drainage and utilize whole home or portable dehumidifiers to keep your property pest-free
- Maintain a Tidy Home
Just like moisture can attract bugs to your home and condenser, so can crumbs and other food and waste. Pests are scavengers and live by putting together meals anyway they can. This means that when food is around, bugs will do anything they can to get it. A proper cleaning regime prevents these pest magnets from occurring. A clutter-free home, both inside and out, lets you monitor your HVAC system and note pest problems. If you clean your home frequently, you will also notice any signs of pest waste, which is a sure sign they are hiding out in your ducts.