In Florida, two things that we’ve gotten used to are humidity and pests. We have an abundance of each, with the hot, moist air and vegetation combining to form the ideal breeding ground for many insects. To keep your HVAC system healthy and away from early repairs, handling these problems proactively is important.
If you’re in the Punta Gorda area, or anywhere from Naples to Sarasota, then the experts at AA Temperature Services want to be your HVAC repair and installation provider. With our maintenance plans, you can be sure that you’ll never have to deal with the major problems that humidity and pests can cause.
To give you a jump on the problem, here’s an idea of the different problems you may encounter with pests and humidity, and how you may be able to prevent or solve them.
Florida HVAC Pest Problems
Homes near wetlands can be more susceptible to insects than homes in other areas. If you don’t maintain your HVAC system properly, then bugs and larger pests that feed off of them could make their way into your home. This can be a major health concern depending on the type of pest that you have, and if the pest itself isn’t a threat to your health, then the damage it leaves behind in your heating and cooling systems could be. Some possible ramifications of an infestation include:
- Broken, chewed through, and debris-laden parts within the system that could damage the system or permanently disable it.
- Low air quality caused by the droppings and carcasses of the pests that live and die in your system.
- Low air quality caused by poisons that were unwisely used in an effort to get rid of the pests.
- Various infections and disorders from the two latter problems listed above.
- Blocked vents and flues because of the size and location of the pests’ nest.
- Stings and bites, if you have pests that are particularly aggressive.
Prevention and Solutions to Florida HVAC Pest Problems
While an infestation should be handled by a professional in order to prevent further damage to your HVAC system, there are things you can do to prevent the arrival of pests and ward off the problem before you need professionals.
Steps to Prevent Pests
- Wire mesh covers over outdoor vents can be a good solution to keep bigger insects, small rodents, and their nests out of your vents.
- Building a structure around your outdoor components can be a really good idea, if you do it correctly. Solid walls can be climbed over, but they will deter the vast majority of insects from getting into your system. The ceilings of these structures can be a little trickier because the system needs to vent but you don’t want to invite birds to sit on the roof and defecate into the system. One good solution would include slats that are close together, with ventilation points near the top of your wall where it meets the roof.
- Make sure there are vent covers on all exterior flues and vents, as well as the ones inside your homes, this won’t keep pests out completely but it will at least deter bigger ones from getting in.
- Keep the area around your vents tidy. This isn’t going to keep bugs away entirely, but it can greatly reduce the risks of pests entering your home if you don’t have tall shady areas of grass surrounding your HVAC system
The Dangers of Humidity to Your Florida HVAC System
Humidity is something we can’t avoid in Florida, and while HVAC systems deal with a lot of moisture regularly, excess amounts of it can cause the system to struggle. These problems tend to be less serious than the ones caused by pests, but they can still cost you in repair and energy costs.
Humidity’s Effect on Heating
Humidity makes it harder to cool things and heat them. The problems that exist in this instance are mostly comfort issues, but some of them can extend to health problems. A lack of moisture in the air during the winter can make your home feel cooler than it is if the humidity levels inside the home drop to below 50%.
As long as you don’t overdo it with dehumidifiers, this should be a problem that’s easy to avoid. If you do need to take action, then there are humidifiers that can be built into an old HVAC system or that come with newer ones. When it comes to cooling, however, it’s a different story.
Humidity’s Effect on Cooling
Because the humidity is high year-round, cooling your home is a much bigger concern in Florida than heating it. Air conditioners are designed to take heat and moisture out of the air, but when the moisture levels are too high, this can cause your HVAC system to overheat.
Aside from your home feeling much hotter than it is, the inverse of what happens when there’s too little moisture, it can also cause these issues.
- Feeling clammy, even though the temperature gauge reads at a comfortable level. This could cause you to spend more on heating throughout the winter when the humidity levels in your home are below 50%.
- Foggy windows.
- A musty odor resulting from moisture getting into the wood fixtures of your home. This is the only real danger of having too little humidity in the home because it can lead to mold, which can lead to a host of health problems if not taken care of in a timely manner.
Preventing too much humidity from getting into your systems can be accomplished best by using a properly sized air conditioner, as ones that are too big or too small will struggle to find the right humidity level for your home. Another way is to have a dehumidifier installed in your system or install one that comes with one.
Get Professional HVAC Service
If you find you’re having problems with pests or humidity that you can’t handle yourself, we’re confident that we can. Maintaining an HVAC system isn’t something anyone can do, so if you find yourself needing help, contact the professionals at AA Temperature Services in Punta Gorda!