How To Avoid Pests And Improve Indoor Air Quality With HVAC

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Technology is a marvelous thing. It has enabled us to heat food instantly without conventional cooking, watch sports games without physically being there, and yes, keep us warm during chilly winter months via our HVAC system. The problem with the last part though is that, unfortunately, we aren’t the only ones who like to stay cozy and warm during those cold, winter months. Pests do, too!

Many homeowners probably aren’t aware of the fact that not having routine maintenance and checkups on your HVAC system can actually create a point of entry for pests in your home. Today we’re going to talk about how that happens, and what you can do to stop it.

Here in the Turlock and Modesto area, we have a number of pests that are natural inhabitants, and as such, tend to creep into our homes, especially during winter months. Some of the most common pests here in the central valley area are cockroaches, such as the American Cockroach, the German Cockroach, and the Oriental Cockroach. But there are other critters that tend to flourish here as well, such as spiders, ants, termites, and even mice – especially since Modesto and Turlock are areas surrounded by rich agriculture, which means lots of crop fields. Which brings us to our first point.

1. Pests Can Damage Your HVAC Equipment

One of the unique problems with mice is their nesting behavior. Because they’re mammals who tend to nest, they take advantage of the structure of HVAC systems to nest. This creates a problem, because in order to nest, they have to create an ideal environment inside the HVAC system, and can damage or destroy components.

When HVAC system components become damaged, it not only affects your family in the immediate sense, but can also burden your investment by forcing you to pay for costly repairs. That’s why at Wally Falke’s we always recommend maintenance and check-ups to ensure everything is working smoothly, and there is no damage to your system, saving you thousands of dollars in potential damages if left unresolved.

2. Pests Can Pose Health Risks And Negative Impact Indoor Air Quality

Modesto and Turlock suffer from some of the worst outdoor air quality in the nation. The last thing we need in our area is to compound that with poor indoor air quality too, especially since research shows that indoor air quality can sometimes be even worse than outdoor air quality.

When animals leave droppings, dander, debris, or die inside of the ducts of your HVAC equipment, all of that gets moved inside of your home. It probably goes without saying that this has a plethora of negative health consequences. It can also impact the freshness of your home. So if you’ve done everything you can to beat odors, but still get a feeling that your house doesn’t smell as fresh as it could, this ventilation issue could be to blame.

Aside from this though, there also exists the problem of trying to beat pests with pesticides. Alarmingly, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, 80 percent of most people’s exposure to pesticides occurs indoors, and measurable levels of up to a dozen pesticides have been found in the air inside homes. Additionally, according to the EPA, pesticides can cause damage to the central nervous system, other vital organs, and increase cancer risk.

Add to that the fact that many pests bring with them allergens into the home, which could be causing negative symptoms, ranging from mild to not so mild, such as exacerbated asthma symptoms, irritate the skin, eyes, nose, or throat.

3. Seal HVAC Ducts

Maintaining your heating and air conditioning equipment involves making sure the integrity of the HVAC system is intact. Your HVAC technician will come to your property and make sure that, among many other things, your ducts are properly sealed. If they aren’t, then the pests that infiltrate the system can become a serious problem, as we have previously illustrated.

The temptation to eradicate the pests with poison will always be there, but considering the data from the EPA, it’s probably not the best idea. Here’s why.

When animals and other pests infest the ducts of your HVAC equipment, any poison you spray into the ducts is going to go straight into your home. That’s why the #1 recommended way of dealing with pest infestations of air conditioning and heating equipment ductwork is to use traps. The traps can then be removed once the infestation is cleared.

From there, the HVAC ducts can be sealed, and then, pesticides can be used along the exterior if need be. But by spraying pest control products and pesticides into the air around your ductwork without ensuring they are properly sealed, you could be putting your own life at stake, and the lives of your loved ones, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

4. Some Final Thoughts

Some other things that can be done include installing flue and vent covers. Flue covers are a good idea because if pests enter the flue pipes, they might end up blocking the flue, forcing combustion chemicals back into your home. Also, as it concerns the intakes and exterior vents, by keeping these covered, you protect these potential points of entry from infestation as well.

At the end of the day, make sure you work with a reputable heating and air conditioning company who can send a specialist to your home or business to handle any of your heating, air conditioning or ventilation needs. By maintaining your HVAC system, you can cut down on costs dramatically, keep the investment value of your home intact, protect your health, and live comfortably.

You can get a one-time maintenance of your HVAC system for only 19.69 (for first-time customers) by contacting us at (209) 632-7596

Rick Falke

Rick Falke

Rick Falke is a Central Valley HVAC Contractor with over 50 years of experience in the industry. A 2nd generation HVAC Owner, Operator, and Technician, he owns WallyFalke’s Heating & Air Conditioning in Turlock, California where they provide high-quality HVAC installations in the Modesto, Merced, Manteca and surrounding areas.

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About Wally Falke's Heating & Air Conditioning

We are a family owned and operated heating and air conditioning company who’s been proudly serving the Modesto, Turlock, Merced, and surrounding areas since 1969.

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