What to Do When a Small Creature Decides to Explore Your Air Conditioning Unit

26 July 2016
 Categories: Environmental, Blog


Air conditioning can be simply heavenly during the warmer months. Your friends and family will obviously appreciate it too when they visit you. But you probably don't want to share your air conditioning with any of the creatures that might live in your garden. While it's unlikely, it's possible for rodents and reptiles to make their way into your air conditioner, whether it's the external component of your split system unit, or even into the ducts inside your home. So how can you know if this has happened? And what can you do about it?

The Signs

While a small creature might be able to make its way into your air conditioning unit, they cannot necessarily make their way out again. If you notice an unpleasant, pungent odour when you're operating your air conditioner, you need to check to see if it has become the final resting place for some poor creature.

  • You should try to look inside the external component of your split system air conditioner. You might see the body of some small creature that has become trapped in there. Look through the grilles, and remove the access panel if possible. A torch might be necessary. It's unpleasant, but you will need to remove any dead creatures that you find.
  • If the unit appears clean, then you need to inspect your internal ducts. Look through the grilles on the the wall of your home, where the cold air enters the room. Again, you will need a torch. Can you see any shapes that might be the recently deceased body of a rodent or reptile? You will need to remove the grilles and the filters and then retrieve the body.
  • It's possible that something might have died inside your air conditioning ducts at a place where you cannot see it, so if you are unable to find a likely culprit for that foul smell, please have your air conditioner professionally inspected. A technician will be able to access the places you can't get to.

The Entry Point

While finding a small dead creature inside your air conditioner is going to be a rarity, you need to ensure that it does not happen again. Examine the external component of your split system air conditioner. Can you see a likely entry point? Perhaps the access panel has come loose. The size of the grilles vary depending on the manufacturer, so if there is sufficient space, perhaps the creature simply crawled (or slithered) inside. Speak to a technician about whether it's possible to install mesh or some other guard over your grilles—something that will prevent entry without hindering the system's air intake.

Please remember that if you suspect that there is a live creature inside your air conditioner, you should not use the unit until the creature has been removed. This means you might need to call for an exterminator in the case of rodents, or an animal control specialist in the case of reptiles.