3 Ways Wildlife Can Severely Damage Your Air Conditioning Unit

Without interference, most air conditioning units can run, problem free, throughout the entire season. After hot weather patterns come to an end, a simple filter change restores the air conditioner, readying it for another year of climate control. Unfortunately, air conditioners in both urban and rural areas can fall victim to the destructive nature of wildlife. Birds, vermin and even raccoons pose a threat to the health and well being of your air conditioner unit. Their destruction often negatively impacts the functionality of the system, necessitating prompt repairs. Here are three ways wildlife can wreak havoc on your air conditioning unit.

Short Wires

The inside of the air conditioning case provides pests with a cool reprieve from the hot outdoor weather. If vermin, like rats or snakes, can access the inside of the unit, their movements or actions could disrupt the wires, causing them to short out. Snakes, for example, may push two or more wires together, which short circuits the system and knocks the air conditioner out of commission.

Rats cause even more damage as they chew through the insulation of the wires and cause a short that damages the connected components. If this happens, you will need to have all of the wires inside the air conditioner replaced with new ones in addition to repairing the components damaged by the surge of electricity.

Foul Filters

Birds and mice may set up their nests in and on the air conditioner unit for continued temperature regulation. These pests leave their potentially disease-ridden droppings all around the air conditioner where they dry up and turn to dust.

As the air conditioning unit pulls fresh air from the surrounding area, the dropping dust enters the system. As a result, the filter fills with debris much faster than normal. Without a filter change, the air coming through the system may smell foul and flow at a slow rate. Eventually, the unit could throw a code indicating a blockage from the full filter element.

Destroy Ducts

The air conditioning ducts running through your home also remain susceptible to wildlife damage. Mice and raccoons that enter your home often start to build their nests out of building materials found in the attic. The insulation surrounding air conditioning ducts provides the perfect amount of cushion and protection for these nests. As these pests pull away the duct insulation, the efficiency of your cooling system decreases dramatically.

The pests could also try to use the ducts as potential route outside by chewing through the tube walls. Once that happens, cool air coming out of the air conditioner will route through the chewed hole and fail to reach the vents in your living space.  

Keeping Your Air Conditioner In Great Condition

If you notice wildlife on or around your air conditioner, or notice a problem with the unit, it is wise to turn off the device and contact a skilled repair professional right away. Air conditioner experts can inspect the inside and outside of the case along with the ductwork to find the source of the problem.

After having your air conditioner repaired, you may want to talk about ways to deter wildlife from returning to the unit. You may benefit from cutting back tree branches to remove the vermin's direct route to the unit. You can invest in a cover for your air conditioner, but you must remain mindful of the location of the inlet ducts to select the right shape. You can use caulk to seal up access points into your home to keep vermin from entering the attic space. Continued monitoring of your air conditioner's functionality will help you determine if you need to take additional preventative measures.