What to Do If Insects Make Themselves at Home Inside Your Air Conditioner

Posted on: 22 November 2016

If you suspect that a colony of insects is slowly but surely making a home inside your air conditioner, there are a number of things you need to do. Please ensure that you take the necessary action sooner rather than later, because it's not the sort of problem that will go away without your careful intervention. So what do you need to do?

Use of Insecticides

Do not simply remove your internal grilles and filters and spray an insecticide into the vent. While this can be effective in killing any insects lurking inside, you must remember that these harsh chemicals will immediately be fed back into your home the moment the unit is switched back on. You will be better off removing the grilles and filters and placing a glue trap inside. This will not be particularly effective against ants, but it can lure and trap larger insects such as cockroaches and spiders. It also means that any airborne pollutants fed back into your home will be kept to an absolute minimum.

Removal of Debris

You need to go outside and inspect the external component of your air conditioning unit. Remove any debris (particularly cobwebs) that you might find. You should remove any garden waste that might have accumulated around the air conditioning unit. This waste can act as a type of transitional home for any insects before they enter the actual unit. Depending on how high it's piled and the actual location of your air conditioning unit, this waste can also act as an entry stairway into the unit. You will also need to inspect the external compressor of the unit.

Cleaning the External Compressor

Ensure that your air conditioner is switched off. Using a screwdriver, remove the grille from the external compressor. Clean the visible parts of the unit with a vacuum cleaner, using only the brush attachment. This will remove any bugs (and eggs/larvae) from the external compressor before they have the chance to enter your internal vents. If you do not have an outdoor vacuum cleaner and opt to use a standard vacuum cleaner connected to an internal outlet, please ensure that you use a surge protector (and do not attempt this job in wet weather). You should also inspect the grill before you reattach it. How much space is there in the grill for insects to enter the unit?

The External Compressor Grill

While regularly removing any accumulated debris will lessen the chance of reinfestation, you might wish to see if your unit's grill can be modified. It's unwise to attempt to do this yourself (to block the gaps in the grill) since those gaps are necessary for air intake. A company that specialises in split system air conditioning installation might be able to change or modify your external compressor cover to make it more difficult for insects to gain entry. Again, please do not attempt to do this yourself as you can endanger the safe operation of the unit.

Insects inside an air conditioner unit can be a major annoyance, but it's an annoyance that can be easily overcome.