Your air conditioner unit is an essential piece of equipment meant to keep you and your family comfortable inside all through the year. But it can also be a gateway for insects to invade your home.
When the weather starts to become significantly warmer during the summer months here in Las Vegas, bugs can seek refuge in your home to escape the heat. But while there’s nothing wrong with bugs wanting to keep cool or finding some shade, not taking any action to prevent them from invading your home increases the chances of these insects eventually doing just that.
Why Do Bugs Like Air Conditioners?
As mentioned above, bugs often go inside the air conditioner because it helps them avoid the sweltering heat. But because there’s almost always a fresh water supply from the condensation and the machine’s whirring provides a warm place during nighttime, HVAC systems offer a lovely home for these little critters.
Add the fact that they can get into your house through your HVAC system, and it’s easy to see why this is common.
How Do Bugs Get Inside the Air Conditioner?
The main reason for this is simply because the seal is rarely airtight. Furthermore, these spaces are often so small that they’re either easy to miss or invisible to the naked eye. As a result, bugs often squeeze through the small holes and into our homes.
Luckily, there are a few surefire ways to “bug-proof” both your air conditioner and your house, and we’ve outlined these methods below.
1. Assess the Problem
Before you perform any labor on your AC, it’s essential to assess the problem and ask yourself a few questions. Are the bugs coming through the gaps around your AC unit? Or, are they coming through your actual unit?
Knowing the answer will help you better understand what you need to do and potentially save you time and money. If the bugs are coming around the unit, then all it might need is a bit of housework to create an effective seal.
If they’re coming through the AC unit, then it might be high time for a repair. If this is the case, our professionals here at Polar Air & Heating, Inc. are available any time for AC maintenance and repairs.
2. Use Duct Tape
Duct tape can be handy in this case. Cheap, fast, and practical, you can easily use duct tape on visible cracks, hairline crevices, and spaces around your unit.
However, duct tape isn’t as effective for gaps that are wider than an inch. As such, you should only employ duct tape on small cracks. Additionally, it’s also helpful to know that duct tape cannot hold insulation well, so too much of it might result in damaging your AC.
3. Use Caulk on Wider Gaps
While different types of caulk are available on the market, any of the basic options should be sufficient. Just make sure you buy one with an applicator as well as one that’s safe for wood.
Because caulk comes in different grades, it’s a good idea to do your research beforehand, or ask a store associate for help. In this case, you’ll need something you can easily mold, such as rope caulk.
You can then use this caulk to seal any crevice or space that’s too big for duct tape. For reference, caulk works best for chasms between the AC and the cracks either above or below your unit.
4. Install Screening
If your windows and doors don’t have them yet, you can install screening to protect yourself from bugs and insects. Doing so works best if you don’t want to adjust your AC, as it will protect the whole window itself, not just the area with the air conditioner in particular.
Luckily, installing window screeners is generally easy, although you might need some help to install them properly. Done well, however, and you have an easy way to prevent the majority of bugs from finding their way into your room.
5. Employ Paper Towels
If you don’t have duct tape or caulk in your house, you can also use paper towels or even toilet rolls in your bathroom. Just manipulate small pieces to fill the holes around the unit or any visible cracks that you have.
To help keep the towels in place, you can add duct tape to create an easy seal.
6. Adjust Your Landscaping
If your AC has a condenser unit outside, it’s also essential to keep any plants or foliage at least 2–3 feet away from it. Clean any debris like leaf piles close to the condenser as they are a great starter home for bugs.
Move anything that might attract bugs to your unit away from the area. Usually, this includes trash, woodpiles, and grass clippings. Doing so will help minimize the risk of bugs getting attracted to your condenser and AC unit.
7. Convert Your Yard Space Into a Rock Garden
These are gaining lots of popularity lately, and it’s easy to see why. Not only are these easier to maintain and have zero costs in upkeep, but they’re also drought-resistant and stop any small bugs from creating a nest around your condenser. Additionally, rock gardens also don’t have tall plants that can block airflow into your condenser coil.
They’re also pleasing to look at, and converting your garden into one can give your house an instant makeover.
8. Clear Your House’s Downspouts and Gutters
When was the last time you cleaned your house’s gutters and downspouts? If you haven’t yet, then now is a perfect time, especially since summer is usually responsible for filling it up with dust, leaves, and all sorts of debris.
If you haven’t guessed yet, this buildup is the perfect home for small bugs and critters. As such, routinely cleaning them helps keep bugs away from your home. Be careful when doing so, however.
8. Avoid Water Leaks
If the area around your condenser or AC unit is damp, then you might notice more cockroaches around. Because cockroaches are always on the hunt for water, the space underneath your unit (and its inside) is the perfect home for a family of roaches.
To help prevent this, make sure that the area around your unit isn’t damp. Additionally, if you spot any water leaks in your unit, it can also indicate that your AC needs a checkup for any needed repairs.
9. Schedule Regular Pest Control Treatment
Another surefire way of keeping your AC bug-free is by scheduling pest control service at least once a year. If you live near the woods or a body of water like a river, then bugs are more likely to visit your home regardless if you followed the steps above. In such cases, a professional service can help.
Enjoying a relaxing indoor climate doesn’t have to come at the expense of bug infestation in your home. Follow the aforementioned tips and bug-proof your home before summertime. To make sure your AC is well-maintained and ready for the summer, call us at Polar Air & Heating, Inc. and schedule a comprehensive assessment and tune-up today! We also offer a full range of heating and cooling services, including installation, repair and maintenance.