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The Right HVAC Unit for Your Home

A couple of months ago, the HVAC unit in my home started malfunctioning. The temperature inside my home soared to over eighty degrees Fahrenheit, even though my air conditioning system ran nonstop. After inspecting my air conditioning unit, my knowledgeable HVAC contractor recommended I purchase a new system. He discussed the pros and cons of installing different sizes of HVAC units with me. After considering my HVAC contractor’s advice, I decided to purchase a three and a half ton HVAC unit. Shortly after my HVAC contractor installed my new air conditioning unit, my house started feeling more comfortable. On this blog, I hope you will discover how an HVAC contractor can help you select the right air conditioning unit for your home. Enjoy!


The Right HVAC Unit for Your Home

No Vacancy: Keeping Rodents And Other Critters Away From Your Air Conditioner

by Jamie Shaw

With winter fast approaching, you're probably busy getting your central air conditioning system ready for a season or two of dormancy. You want to make sure you have all of your bases covered when it comes to protecting your central A/C system, especially against rodents and other small animals. To the average critter, an inoperative A/C cabinet looks like a cozy and inviting place to nest for the winter.

The aftermath of an extended stay by an unwelcome guest usually comes in the form of chewed wiring, stripped insulation, and a whole bunch of debris. To keep your A/C unit from playing an unwitting host to small animals and insects, you'll want to take a good look at the following tips and tricks.

Cover It Up, But Use the Right Cover for the Job

One of the main problems that many homeowners have when they try to cover their air conditioners is using the wrong cover for the job. Believe it or not, but covering up your A/C unit isn't as simple as grabbing the nearest tarp, draping it around the unit and calling it even. A plastic tarp covers your entire A/C unit, but it also blocks cold air from passing through. This has the unexpected and unwelcome side effect of making the air conditioner nice and warm for a small animal seeking shelter from the elements.

Instead of using a tarp, consider using a mesh cover that's specially designed to fit over your air conditioner. Unlike a tarp, the mesh cover lets air flow throughout the air conditioner while keeping fallen branches, leaves, and other debris at bay. Most importantly, it makes your A/C unit too cold for rodents like mice and squirrels to comfortably nest within.

If you can't get your hands on a mesh cover, the next best thing is to simply place a thick sheet of plywood over the top of the A/C cabinet and weigh it down with a large brick or cinderblock. This will block the condenser fan exhaust, preventing most animals from finding their way into the unit. The only caveat is that this method leaves the bottom of the A/C exposed to smaller rodents that can flex and contort their way into the unit.

Invest in Organic Deterrents

Organic deterrents can work wonders for defending your air conditioner against wintertime rodent infestation. You can sprinkle repellent granules around the unit to create a protective barrier. You can also remove the condenser fan cover and sprinkle repellent into the center of the A/C unit to deter more adventurous rodents.

You can also keep rodents away from your A/C system by putting down naphthalene moth balls. The scent of this organic compound is usually enough to drive away most rodents. Unfortunately, naphthalene can be harmful if it comes into contact with the human body, so care should be taken to avoid inhaling moth ball vapors or handling moth balls with your bare hands.

Another option involves using electronic repellents. These devices work by emitting ultrasonic noises that are beyond the hearing frequency of the average human being. Humans can't hear it, but the sound causes rodents and other creatures that can hear it to flee from the source of the noise. Keep in mind that dogs and other pets may be able to pick up on the noise, too, so you should not use this type of deterrent if you have pets around.

Don't Forget About Traps

In addition to putting down organic deterrents, you should also set up traps to capture some of the more determined critters taking a run at your A/C system. Sticky traps and traditional spring traps offer a permanent solution to a rodent problem, but you can also invest in traps that offer a somewhat more humane ending for the average rat. 

If you do find that your air conditioner has been damaged by rodents, check out websites like http://www.capefearair.com to find out more about your repair options.