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How to Prevent Bugs from Coming Through the Air Conditioner

How to Prevent Bugs from Coming Through the Air Conditioner

Your air conditioner provides your home with cool air. However, in order to do so, it needs to expel heat by pushing it outside. This creates a bridge between the inside of your home and the area outside of it. An unfortunate byproduct of this bridge is that bugs can use this pathway to make their way inside. 

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If you want to know how to prevent bugs from coming through the air conditioner vents, we have solutions for you. Keep reading to discover the reason why this happens and what you can do to stop it. 

Why Do Bugs Enter Air Conditioners?

It might seem odd that bugs appear to be attracted to air conditioners. However, if you think about the issue enough, it makes perfect sense. 

An air conditioner provides a cool place that potentially has readily available moisture. This is highly attractive to insects, especially on a hot summer day. In addition, most homes are filled with the smell of food, which draws in bugs, like flies. 

An air conditioner also leads to an area that generally has fewer predators than the rest of the outdoors, which insects see as a source of safety. Once enough bugs have found their way in, though, predator bugs, like spiders, start to view the air conditioner as a place to set up shop. 

How to Prevent Bugs from Coming Through the Air Conditioner

While bugs are attracted to air conditioners, they don’t have to get in. You can take steps to keep as many out as possible. Doing so can have a big impact and can cut out the majority of insects you’ll have to deal with. 

1. Ensure the Unit Is Properly Installed

A properly installed air conditioning unit will create a tight seal. This is essential to keeping the cold air the AC provides from leaking outside. It is also a key part of keeping bugs outside. This is because any gaps in this seal are places where bugs can find their way into your AC or home. 

The best way to deal with this is to make sure that the unit is the correct size and is installed correctly in the first place. Always choose a trusted HVAC professional to handle your unit’s installation. Going with a second-rate company may result in an installation that leaves your home vulnerable to bugs.

2. Caulk the Bugs Out

If your AC unit is already installed, you’ll need to find another way to create a good seal. Caulk is a great option if you have gaps around your AC system. A small layer of caulk will bridge the gap and create an effective barrier that bugs cannot pass through. 

The best part is that this is an easy and cheap solution. You can find caulk at any hardware store and many general stores for a very affordable price. It is also easy to work with, making this a method anyone can use. Be sure you know exactly what to caulk and what to leave alone before you get started.

3. Use Duct Tape

While caulk is an effective solution for many larger gaps, it can feel a bit silly to use it on smaller gaps. There is another option. You can simply cover up these gaps with some duct tape. All you have to do is stretch a section of the tape so it creates a seal over the gap. After that, you’re good to go. 

4. Install an AC Screening Material

Sometimes, an AC unit, particularly a window unit, doesn’t fit very well. The window may be so large that there is essentially no way to avoid having gaps that surround the AC unit. 

There is a solution to this too. There are specialized products out there designed to encase the unit. An air conditioning casing will surround the unit and, in doing so, keep bugs out. 

5. Ensure the Outdoor Unit Is Clean

Many methods of preventing bugs from getting in revolve around putting up barriers to keep them out. However, preventing them from getting to the unit in the first place can be just as effective of a solution. 

When plants grow around the unit or junk is leaning up against it, bugs have an easy pathway to enter. The additional supply of plants also draws bugs in, doubling the problem. The best way to attack this issue is by removing nearby plants and ensuring the area stays clean. 

cleaning outdoor air conditioner

6. Use Cardboard

If you can’t find AC screening that suits your situation and are still dealing with large gaps, cardboard can be an effective solution. You can cut out pieces of cardboard to fit any sort of gap you are dealing with, no matter how big or irregular the shape. Then, use some duct tape to secure this cardboard in place. In the end, you’ll have another barrier in place to keep bugs from getting in. 

7. Clear Any Water Leaks

Insects are incredibly attracted to water. If your AC unit is dripping water or leaking, this can draw in more bugs than normal. 

The only way to prevent this is to prevent leaks. Your local HVAC or plumbing specialist can help you with this. A little AC repair from a professional will clear up any leaks and, thus, prevent insect-drawing water from becoming a problem. 

8. Move the Unit to a Bug-Free Zone

Some areas around your home are more prone to bugs than others. An area surrounded by plants will draw in more bugs than an area surrounded by grass. Meanwhile, an area with grass will draw in more bugs than an area with stones or pavement. Other things, like nearby garbage containers or other smells, can also draw in insects. 

If you notice that the area around your unit has any of these problematic elements nearby, try to move it to a different area. You can switch windows if you have a window unit or have the unit moved by a professional if you have a larger unit. If moving is impossible, you can try to remove the problematic elements to create a similar effect. 

10. Keep Up With AC Maintenance

As you can probably tell from the other items on this list, the current state of your air conditioner directly impacts bugs coming through it. Thus, staying on top of your air conditioner’s status helps keep you one step ahead of the bugs. 

Keeping on top of your air conditioner’s status means keeping up with maintenance. Have an HVAC professional look at your AC system on a regular basis. They will identify any issues with bugs getting in and start working toward a solution. Plus, these regular maintenance visits will allow your system to run better, saving you on energy bills and keeping your home cooler. 

Schedule AC Maintenance with Eanes

If you want to know how to prevent bugs from coming through the window air conditioner, you should be aware that many of the potential problems start and end with your HVAC system as a whole. Addressing these problems often means addressing the system itself. 

The best way to do this is with the professionals at Eanes. At Eanes, we can help you install your AC unit properly, eliminate gaps, deal with other issues, and conduct regular AC maintenance. All of this helps keep your AC unit and the rest of your home bug-free. If this sounds good to you, make sure to schedule an appointment today.