Birds seeking a dry, safe place to build their nest often find than an exterior or window-mounted AC unit offers an ideal environment. Allowing birds to nest on, in or near your air conditioning system can lead to no end of problems, many of which might impede performance or increase the risk of an equipment breakdown. Taking steps to keep birds away from your unit can be an important part of HVAC maintenance.
Decoys and Fake Predators
A convincing mock-up of a snake, owl, or other natural predator can be a strong deterrent. Identifying the types of birds that may be causing your problems can allow you to find the decoys and fake predators that are more likely to be effective. Investing in a decoy when installing an AC unit can often be a smart move.
Keep the Exterior Unit Free of Debris
Allowing leaves, twigs, and other debris to pile up near the AC can make it more attractive to birds. Cleaning the unit periodically means that birds will be more likely to look elsewhere for a place to nest. Debris can also be a problem should it manage to work its way into the system, an issue which may require you to seek out professional AC service options in order to address. They may need to clean the vents and add metal covers so birds can’t get in.
The smell of bleach, vinegar or even industrial solvents like penetrating oil can also drive off birds and other wildlife. Cleaning the exterior housing of the AC unit with a household product can be an effective way to ensure that birds are less likely to return once their nest has been removed. Using a cleaning agent alongside a decoy predator may also be beneficial. Cleaning the outside will also let you know if bird droppings are new or old. If they are new then you can keep an eye out and deter them.
Running the AC Unit
The noise, vibration and air flow created when the unit is switched on are often more than enough to deter nesting birds. Allowing your AC sit dormant throughout the season could leave you with a nasty surprise the next time you switch it on. Making an effort to run the AC during the spring when birds are nesting could make a real difference.
While he chance to watch live chicks hatch just outside the window may be exciting, allowing birds to nest too close to your AC can be a costly mistake. Simple and effective ways to drive them off may go a long way towards keeping your HVAC system in good working order throughout the season. Keeping the unit clean and free of debris can spare you to added expense and inconvenience of having to schedule a service call in order to deal with a breakdown.