When a wild animal decides your HVAC system looks like the perfect refuge from the snow and driving winds of the Indianapolis winter, expensive animal damage is often the result. With a few preventive measures, you can protect your system and local wildlife.
Block Entry Points
Mice, squirrels, raccoons, birds, and snakes can all squeeze through surprisingly small spaces, including your furnace flue and exterior exhaust vents. To keep animals from entering here, a simple grate can work, but specially designed covers are a better choice. Also check around your home’s exterior for gaps and holes that could let in animals and seal these with caulk or other appropriate material.
Seal the Ducts
Inspect the exposed ducts in your attic, basement, and garage. The joints where two lengths of duct meet should be sealed with mastic or metal-backed tape. If a joint has missing or deteriorated sealing, re-seal it. Look for disconnected and damaged ducts, which should be repaired. Sealing and repairing your duct system keeps animals out and improves your heating and cooling system’s efficiency by helping more conditioned air reach your rooms.
Protect the Outdoor Unit
Wrapping your outdoor condenser unit in heavy plastic might seem like a good idea, but by blocking out snow, wind, and the gaze of predators, you’ve just turned the unit into the ideal animal nesting spot. Plastic wrapping also traps moisture, increasing the risk of rust forming. Instead, either use a breathable condenser cover or lay a piece of plywood on top of the unit and use bricks to hold it in place.
Wild animals aren’t the only perpetrators of animal damage. Dog urine is highly corrosive and will eat away at the outdoor unit’s aluminum fins. To keep dogs away, install a 38-inch fence around the unit and at least 3 feet away from it. Pet repellent sprays or pellets also discourage dogs and cats from hanging out around your condenser.
For more tips on protecting your HVAC system from animal damage, contact us at Mowery Heating, Cooling and Plumbing anywhere in Indianapolis.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Brownsburg, Indiana and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).