Hansberger Refrigeration Blog: Your AC Repair Resource

Tips for Limiting Affects of Animal Damage

Tips for Limiting Affects of Animal DamageYou may not see it happening, but animal damage may be affecting your heating and cooling equipment. Animals entering the system can pose health hazards to the home’s occupants and require expensive repairs, too.

Most air distribution ducts are unseen, hidden within walls and routed through the attic and crawl space. In addition, the outdoor half of the central air conditioner is often idle during winter months, thus gets little attention. Here are examples of how animal damage affects these elements of your HVAC system and how to prevent it.


The round metal ducts inside your home make attractive passageways and homes for animals, especially rodents. Rats and mice can enter through small holes or loose ductwork joints, then spread throughout the house. Typically, they nest inside ducts and multiply.

Droppings and urine from rodents can contaminate the HVAC airflow as it circulates through the ductwork, posing a health hazard for residents of the house and also deteriorating duct materials. Decomposing dead animals inside ducts are another threat, as well as a source of unpleasant odors emanating from HVAC vents.

Locating and sealing holes in ducts and repairing loose joints and deteriorated segments is necessary to keep animals out. A qualified HVAC professional can inspect the entire span of ductwork, identify problem areas and make these repairs. Where required, ducts can be cleaned to remove animal remains and waste matter.

Air Conditioner Components

The outdoor central air conditioner unit houses the system condenser coil, compressor and fan. Particularly during winter, animals may take shelter inside this housing. Squirrels, rats and possum may chew on electrical wiring, fan belts and other vital components. Secure the unit by making sure the side panels and fan grilles are properly installed and tightened. Also check the opening where electrical wires and refrigerant lines enter the unit and caulk or tape around any remaining gap to seal it.

Contact the professionals at Hansberger Refrigeration and Electric Company for more information about preventing and repairing animal damage to HVAC systems.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Yuma, Arizona about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about HVAC system damage and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 928-723-3183.