Could Animals Be Causing Your A/C Trouble?
Animals can cause damage to residential A/C units. A/C units, especially the outdoor condenser units, can be vulnerable to various types of animal-related issues.
Here are some ways animals can cause damage to A/C units:
- Nesting: Animals like birds, rodents, and insects may find the components of A/C units, such as the condenser unit or outdoor wiring, to be attractive places to build nests. Nesting materials can block airflow, obstruct moving parts, and create fire hazards due to exposed wiring.
- Chewing Wires: Rodents, such as rats and squirrels, are known for chewing on wires. If these animals get into your A/C unit, they can chew through electrical wiring, potentially causing short circuits or system malfunctions.
- Clogging: Animals might crawl into the outdoor unit and bring debris or leaves with them. These materials can clog the condenser coils, fan blades, and other components, reducing the A/C unit's efficiency and causing it to work harder.
- Damage to Coils and Fins: Animals like raccoons, cats, or even curious pets can scratch or bend the delicate fins of the condenser coil or damage other components with their paws or claws, affecting the unit's performance.
- Urine and Droppings: Animal urine and droppings can corrode and damage the metal components of the A/C unit over time. This can lead to system inefficiency and potentially require costly repairs.
- Blocked Ventilation: Animal corpses can inadvertently block the ventilation around the A/C unit, which hinders airflow and makes the system less effective at heat exchange.
- Refrigerant Lines and Insulation: Animals might chew through refrigerant lines or insulation on the lines, causing refrigerant leaks, energy inefficiency, and potential damage to the environment.
- Electrical Hazards: Some animals, especially those that are naturally inquisitive or looking for shelter, can accidentally cause electrical connections to come loose or damage wires. This can result in electrical malfunctions or fire hazards.
The risk of animals potentially causing problems in an A/C is more likely in homes that aren't occupied for extended periods of time, like rental or vacation homes. This is more likely because in all likelihood the home HVAC unit won't be running as much, which is more inviting to critters.
To prevent animal-related damage to your residential A/C unit, consider taking these steps:
- Keep the area around the outdoor unit clear of debris, bushes, and tall grass to deter animals from seeking shelter.
- Install a protective cover or fence around the A/C unit to keep animals out while still allowing for proper airflow.
- Seal any openings or gaps in your home's exterior that animals might use to access the A/C unit.
- Schedule regular maintenance to identify and address any signs of animal-related damage.
- If you suspect animal activity around your A/C unit, contact a professional HVAC technician to inspect and address any issues.
Taking preventive measures and promptly addressing any signs of animal-related damage can help keep your residential A/C unit functioning optimally and extend its lifespan.
For more information on residential A/Cs, contact a professional near you.
24 August 2023