For most homeowners, a rodent infestation is a nightmare come true. There are many different ways in which rodents can enter the home and turn your property into their personal breeding ground.
Aside from the dirt and damage that rodents often cause, they also pose numerous health hazards to the home. The situation is further compounded when they penetrate your heating and air conditioning system. They can easily live inside the ducts and vents of your central air, where they pollute the indoor air quality and develop breeding grounds that are difficult to access.
How rodents can affect your ducts and vents
There are many vulnerable points in the home that rodents can use to access your premises. They can use any openings or cracks in the ducts or enter the home via drainage systems or through open doors and windows.
When rodents gain access into your vents and ducts, they can cause the following negative effects:
Living in them
Air ducts and vents are a perfect home for rodents. This is because they are well isolated and hard to detect. Rodents such as mice tend to hide in air ducts, where they can access your kitchen or living room to find food.
After having a meal, they sneak back into the ducts to rest and form nests. This makes an infestation not only hard to find, but very hard to control.
Contaminating indoor air
Perhaps the most concerning factor is that rodents can contaminate all the air flowing into the home when the HVAC unit is turned on. For instance, a dead rat in your vents can begin to have its body decompose and the fumes spread throughout the premises via your system. This contaminated air poses a significant health hazard if not resolved in a timely fashion.
Ducts and vents can also become a breeding ground for rodents. When they find a well isolated area of the home, rodents tend to establish nests where they can breed and rear offspring. In fact, rodents such as rats breed very quickly and can have anywhere between 25-60 offspring in a single year.
How to keep rodents out
To ensure that rodents don't invade your HVAC system, carry out the following important steps.
Seal the ducts
Anytime you plan to install a new air conditioning unit, make sure the ducts and vents are properly sealed. Sealing the ducts means covering any openings, cracks, and repairing physical damages. This ensures that rodents don't have any easy access points.
Carry out regular inspections to ensure proper air circulation
Regularly have your unit inspected for operational efficiency. If your unit is working too hard to circulate air, there could be blockages in the vents due to a potential rodent infestation. Regular inspections ensure that both your heating and AC and the ducts are working well.