Unfortunately, sometimes mice or other rodents can get into the ducts of your HVAC system. If this happens, there are a few different options you may want to explore. Take a look at these tips.
1. Set Traps in the Ducts
First, try to reduce the mice population by setting traps. You can put the traps right into the ducts. Simply remove the vents or grates, place the traps inside and replace the grates. As an added bonuses, traps in this position aren't a danger to children or pets.
Don't use poison. If the mice eat poison while in the vents, they are likely to die in the vents, and every time your system goes on, the odour of their decomposing bodies will blow into your home. Additionally, dust from the poison could blow into your home—while that's not likely deadly, it isn't ideal if you're trying to protect your indoor air quality.
2. Find Out Where the Mice Are Entering
In addition to killing the mice, you need to find out where they are entering your home. Check around the HVAC ducts in your attic or crawlspace. Look for small openings particularly near where the system vents to the outside. Then, fill these openings using a combination of insulation and steel wool. The insulation blocks the hole, and mice won't be able to chew through the steel wool.
3. Insulate Your Ducts
After you block the entryways, you may want to re-insulate your HVAC ducts. This is particularly important if you see holes in your ducts that are allowing the mice to get in. As an added bonus, insulating your ducts makes your HVAC system more efficient.
To be on the safe side, look for HVAC insulation that advertises itself to be rodent-proof or rodent-resistant. Generally, this insulation has a shiny metallic layer that prevents the mice from chewing through it.
4. Schedule a Professional Duct Cleaning
Once you get rid of the mice, schedule a professional duct cleaning. Mice poop a lot, and all of the air in your home runs through those ducts. To be on the safe and healthy side, you want to get the ducts cleaned.
5. Consider a New System
If you have constantly struggled with mice in the ducts or if they are so dirty that you don't even want to use them anymore, this may be a great time to upgrade to a ductless system. With a ductless AC, you can also break your home down into zones and just cool one or two zones at a time. Even if you don't want a ductless system, looking at ducted air conditioning prices can give you an idea of whether it's the right time to update your system.