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How to Keep Pests Out of Your HVAC Unit

Isn’t it grand when you go to clean your outdoor condenser unit — we know you take our advice and do — and you find a bird nest right near the unit? How about when you see that flies are coming out of your ductwork? No one wants to see pests anywhere near their homes, much less in the system that brings them air.

If you want to keep pests out of your HVAC unit, follow these tips.

Keep Your Yard Tidy

Critters and other pests tend to spend a lot of time where they can hide and feel safe. If your yard is pretty green and your HVAC unit is surrounded by a bunch of dense bushes — which is shouldn’t be because that can inhibit airflow — don’t be surprised if you find some raccoons calling that spot home.

Clearing out the bushes and weeds can help deter pests from hanging around.

Fence Off Your Outdoor Condenser

While these are typically for aesthetic purposes, they work for keeping larger pests out too. Plenty of hardware or home improvement stores sell fences you can use to surround your outdoor condenser unit. If you want to get a bit more coverage, mainly on top of the unit, place some chicken wire over the top of the fence so nothing can fly or crawl into the unit.

Seal Up Your Ducts

Cracked or loose air ducts are a major way bugs and other creepy crawlies get into your HVAC system. You can easily seal the ducts with foil tape to prevent any pests from sneaking inside.

Caulk Windows and Doors

Next to air ducts, the cracks and drafty spots near windows and door are other popular spots for bugs to gain entry to your home, and eventually, your HVAC system. Use caulk or weatherstripping to seal those cracks and keep bugs out. Plus, that will also help boost your HVAC efficiency.

Use Mesh Wiring on Vents

If bugs do make their way into your air ducts, you can still stop them from entering your actual home. Cut some mesh netting to fit over your air vents — remember, you don’t want to cover them entirely since you’d be stopping the airflow and wasting energy — in order to catch any bugs that may try to fly through.

Just be sure to check and replace the netting every so often if it’s catching a lot of bugs.


For all your home cooling needs, contact the experts at Wahl Family Heating, Cooling, and Plumbing for help. We’ve been serving the Pittsburgh metro area since 1989, so you know you can trust us to help you and your family. For more information or to schedule a service, call us at (412) 265-2662.