How to Protect Your HVAC from Pests

How to Protect Your HVAC from Pests

May 10, 2018

How to Protect Your HVAC from PestsHere in Florida, we know more than we’d like about the harm home pests can do. From rodents to roaches, we’re well schooled in deterring, controlling and disposing of these invasive critters. But there’s one area of your home you may not have thought about in regard to pests, and that’s your HVAC system. Yes, your HVAC system may be the site of an unfortunate home pest invasion. Here’s some advice on how to deal with it.

Insect Invaders

To be sure, insect invaders in your HVAC system are likely to be rare, but it can happen, particularly with your outdoor condenser. It seems ants, particularly fire ants, are attracted to a part in your condenser called the contactor. Scientists aren’t sure why — but ants seem to be attracted to electrical switching equipment in general. If you have had this problem before, you may want to have a closed contactor installed next time. You can also do the following:

  • Cut vegetation around the unit.
  • Don’t let dirt or mulch build up or be in contact with the unit.
  • Use ant poison, boric acid or other deterrents around the unit.

Contactors also seem to attract snakes, lizards and other kinds of insects.

Ants are also known to invade vents, sometimes living between the metal frame and the floor or wall, and entering and exiting through the vent. If bait doesn’t work, you may need to call an exterminator.


Rodents, including rats, mice and squirrels, may invade your ductwork by chewing through the duct walls, or entering through holes and gaps. Rodents might also use the ducts as a way to enter your home.

One telltale sign is a bad odor in your home. You should also be on the alert for droppings around vents and registers, and sounds of small animals scampering around in the vents.

You can try using traps or bait, but you may need professional exterminator services. After extermination, your ducts may need to be professionally cleaned or services.

For more on dealing with home pests, contact Rinaldi’s Energy Solutions. We serve Orlando and the surrounding area.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Orlando, Florida and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).