We sometimes receive questions from our clients about problems that can occur with their ductwork. Specifically, “Can animals damage my ductwork?” The answer is yes. In fact, this is one of the more common ways that the ducts in a house can develop air leaks that will lead to a drop in energy efficiency and comfort. Let’s take a look at how animals can give your HVAC system a hard time.
Rats, squirrels, and raccoons
The biggest critter catastrophe that your ductwork can run into is from rodents such as rats, squirrels, opossums, and from raccoons. This is mostly a problem at this time of year, when these animals start searching for shelter from the cooler weather. Your attic and between your home’s walls are ideal spots to hide out if you’re a small animal, and ducts are perfect pathways for them to move around and even nest. These animals will quickly create large holes in the duct walls, and the amount of air that escapes will have a huge negative affect on your air conditioning and heating. If you start to detect unpleasant odors from the vents that might have a connection to animals, call for professionals right away.
This is both bad news for your ducts and your cat. If you have a house cat, the animal is likely curious about closed-in spaces around the home. This can lead to the animal trying to crawl into an air duct, often by prying up a vent cover or finding a way to squeeze behind walls. No, this isn’t a rare occurrence! You only have to type “My cat is stuck in an air duct!” into a search engine and come up with numerous hits on pet forums.
Of course, your first concern will be about the cat. If you call ductwork professionals, they can take care of getting your cat out of the system, using duct cameras to locate the animal and then finding a way to cut open the ductwork to free it. Afterwards, they’ll worry about the damage the panicked cat may have done to the ventilation system.
Call Russell’s Heating & Air Conditioning for ductwork service in Highland, CA.