Are bugs sneaking through your air conditioner like ninjas in the night? Do you dread falling to sleep because you’re worried about creepy crawlies invading your home? Luckily, you don’t have to live with this fear because there are some easy DIY solutions. Here at Rite Way Heating, Cooling & Plumbing, we understand the importance of having a clean, safe, and comfortable home. That means bugs should stay outside where they belong!
Rite Way Heating, Cooling & Plumbing has been in the cooling business for many years, and in that time, we’ve done installations and maintenance on air conditioners across Tucson. We’ve seen more than our fair share of air conditioners with insect problems. Insect activity is especially common with window units since this style of unit often has a gap between the unit and the window itself. Whether you have a window AC or a traditional unit, you’ll find these tips and tricks helpful for keeping bugs out.
1. Repair Cracks and Patch Gaps
Take a look at your air conditioner to see if there are any obvious places bugs can sneak in. Any gaps, cracks, or holes will need to be patched up. Even small gaps can be big enough to allow small bug species, like spiders and mosquitos, to sneak in through. If the gap isn’t too large, you can probably fill it up with caulk.
Caulk is relatively cheap and easy to get at any local hardware store. It’s also fairly beginner-friendly in that you can easily scrape it away if you’re not happy with how it was applied. Caulk comes in several colors, including white, clear, and beige, so there’s a good chance you can find one that blends seamlessly with your home’s exterior.
Once the caulk has fully dried, it should form an airtight and watertight barrier against the outdoors. Bugs will have no chance of sneaking in!
2. Maintain Your Lawn
If you sit down in the grass, you’ll quickly notice that it’s home to all kinds of insect life. Ants, moths, caterpillars, and more thrive in your luscious lawn. While these critters play an important role in your lawn’s health, that all changes when they decide to scurry indoors. As a rule of thumb, well-maintained lawns will experience less insect activity than overgrown, unkempt lawns. This is because lawns filled with weeds, piles of dead branches, and rotting leaves attract lots of insects. Once they settle in and begin to breed, your lawn can quickly become overwhelmed by bugs. It’s only a matter of time before some of them start exploring your house.
The best way to avoid this issue is to have a solid lawn maintenance plan. Mowing your grass weekly to keep it at an appropriate level is a great place to start. It’s also a good idea to do seasonal maintenance. This can include raking up piles of dead leaves in the fall and clearing away dead plants during spring. If you have a woodpile, make sure that it’s kept far away from your air conditioner. Bugs like woodpiles, so placing yours at the far end of your yard will keep insects away from your house.
3. Don’t Garden Near the AC
Your lawn and garden are an insect’s natural habitat. Under normal circumstances, they would hang out in the vegetation, eating leaves and roots. But certain circumstances can drive insects to seek out the cool, dry environment of a house. That’s why you often see a spike in indoor insect activity after a major rainstorm. However, bugs can only travel so far, so putting a safe distance between your garden and the air conditioner will help dissuade bugs from making the journey.
We recommend a minimum of 6 inches between the unit and any grass, shrubs, or flowers. Many homeowners achieve this by surrounding their air conditioners with attractive pavers or rocks. Not only does this keep bugs at bay, but it also protects the unit itself by keeping out dead leaves, grass, and sticks. It’s a win-win situation!
4. Clean Your Gutters Regularly
If you’ve ever inspected your gutters after months of not cleaning them, then you know firsthand how nasty they can get. Detritus like dead leaves, grass clippings, and even live weeds can start to grow in untended gutters. Not to mention, badly clogged gutters will also accumulate standing water. This combination becomes a breeding ground for all kinds of pests from mosquitos to spiders and houseflies. Eventually, these bugs can migrate from the gutter to your air conditioner. Once inside, they’ll spread throughout your house.
To prevent your gutters from becoming bug expressways into your house, you should keep them clean and tidy. We recommend cleaning them at least once a season. During active growing seasons like spring and summer, you may want to check the gutters as often as once per month. This is especially true if your property has lots of trees or is situated near a wooded area.
5. Drain Standing Water
Certain species of insects love standing water. Mosquitos, gnats, and cockroaches all fall into this category. Standing water, especially water nearby your air conditioner, will attract bugs to the area and potentially introduce them to your house. There are many common causes of standing water, so you’ll have to keep an eye out and stay vigilant. Leaky hose spigots, clogged gutters, and slanted patios can all lead to puddles of water. Your air conditioner itself can also be a source of puddling water if it has a maintenance issue.
If you notice standing water on your property, try to get to the bottom of what’s causing it. Once you know what’s causing water to accumulate in that spot, you’ll know how to remedy it. The right solution will help prevent water from building up there in the future and discourage bugs from hanging around.
6. Schedule AC Maintenance
To keep bugs away from your AC all year-round, we recommend scheduling a yearly AC tune-up. During a maintenance appointment, we’ll fully clean out your air conditioner’s external unit. If there are insects, plants, or other detritus built up inside the unit, we’ll clear them away. Vacuuming out the interior will remove all of the natural debris that bugs love to flock to. The AC technicians from Rite Way Heating, Cooling & Plumbing will make sure your AC in Tucson is clean, dependable, and efficient for the coming summer weather.
Tucson’s Air Conditioning Pros
Tired of watching bugs scurry in through your air conditioner? It’s a frustrating situation, but not a helpless one. With the right preparation, you can prevent bugs from sneaking into your home. Even having a well-tended lawn and clean gutters can be enough to start discouraging insects from hanging around your house. If you use these strategies and still have issues with bugs, don’t worry—the team at Rite Way Heating, Cooling & Plumbing can help!
Our technicians are experienced with servicing both traditional ACs and window units. We’ll fully examine your system and pinpoint areas where professional service can solve your bug problem. Rite Way Heating, Cooling & Plumbing is your go-to partner for all your heating and cooling services, including replacements, repairs, and maintenance. We also provide top-notch plumbing services like repairs, installations, and pipe cleanings. We’re your one-stop shop!
Ready to make your air conditioner bug-free? Call us today to schedule service.