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The weather is getting warmer here in Olathe and the humidity is on the rise, which means that homeowners across the Kansas City area are cranking up the air conditioning, often for the first time this year. Having a nice, cool place to come home to after a long day of work or play feels great, but do you know who else loves your nice, air-conditioned house? Bugs and other pests that want to take refuge from the summer heat!

Ask any exterminator and they’ll tell you that summertime is a prime time for everything from fleas and ants to termites, spiders, wasps, and roaches, not to mention mice looking for food, water, and shelter from the summer sun. Some of these pests are just nuisances, while others can do real damage to your HVAC system, the structure of your home, or even your family’s health.

Unless you’re a member of the Addams Family, none of these pests are welcome tenants in your house, so let’s look at a few simple ways to pest-proof your home and help save money – and potentially your Olathe heating and cooling system – at the same time.

Keep a Clean Basement. The best way to keep pests out of your basement isn’t to fill it with traps or pest strips or to go around sealing all of the possible entrances and exits; it’s to simply eliminate the things in your basement that attract pests in the first place. What are those things? Food, for starters. Don’t store foodstuffs in your basement unless they’re in tightly sealed containers. Keep the floor swept clean of crumbs and other debris, including other insects. Pests also come in looking for sources of water, so keep your basement dry by investing in a dehumidifier and by fixing any leaking pipes or sealing any spot where rainwater might get in.

Tend to Your Outside A/C Unit. Keeping the outside unit of your air conditioner free of plants and debris is a good idea for a lot of reasons. The air conditioner needs room around it to “breathe” in order to function properly, for one. But there’s another good reason that you might not have thought of. Rodents may use foliage and other debris as cover to get into your air conditioner. Once they’re in there, they can, as in one example that we’ve seen, chew up the capacitor of an outdoor unit, which causes serious issues with the compressor and the safe and efficient functioning of the air conditioner. Too much vegetation or other cover growing right up to the unit encourages rodents and other pests, so cut it back, and use a repellent to deter insects and small animals from hanging around. It isn’t just your A/C that you have to watch out for, either. Anywhere foliage brushes up against your home is a potential entry point for pests, so keep a sharp lookout.

Seal Up Your Ducts, Vents, and Other Outlets. This is another bit of advice that will also save you big on your monthly utility bills. Anywhere bugs can get in is a place where cold air can escape, which leads to higher energy bills and a less efficient heating and cooling system. Plus, even the smallest entry points can turn your HVAC system into an expressway for insects and pests. What to do? Track down leaky ducts or joints, especially in trouble spots such as the basement or attic, and seal them up with foil or mastic tape. While you’re at it, schedule an inspection by a licensed Olathe heating and cooling professional, who can spot gaps, cracks, and holes that could provide ways for insects to get in and for your money to fly out!

Look for Leaks. Insects and bacteria love water. They need it to live, just like we do, but there’s more to it than that. Many insects rely on excess moisture to breed, meaning that a damp basement or crawl space can help one bug turn into dozens or more. Insects that thrive on moisture include many of the most common household pests, such as roaches, silverfish, mites, house centipedes, and others. If you think you might have a plumbing leak, your best bet is to get in touch with an Olathe plumber. Kansas summers are also sticky, so if you’ve got a humidity problem, it might be wise to invest in a humidification system to help maintain ideal humidity levels throughout your home.

Hire an Exterminator. If you think you have a pest problem, don’t try to solve it yourself. Call in the experts. If you see one insect, there are probably countless more hiding in the walls, under the floors, you name it. A licensed exterminator will help to identify the source of the infestation and teach you how to avoid it in the future. If there’s a place where the pests got in the house, the exterminator will help find it. If there’s damage that’s been done, a licensed exterminator will help find that, too. And then you can fix the problem and make sure it doesn’t happen again.

Get Your HVAC System Tuned Up. No matter how diligent you are, no matter how carefully you safeguard your home, pests happen. Insects get in through open doors and through the most miniscule cracks in our defenses. The best way to protect your home is to catch problems before they become more severe, and that goes for pest infestations as much as anything else. That’s why it’s important to have your HVAC system checked twice a year by a certified Olathe heating and cooling professional.

We can spot the telltale signs of a pest infestation before it gets out of hand, help provide you with the solutions you need to solve the problem and help prevent problems in the future. Plus, our friendly technicians will look over every part of your HVAC system and make sure it’s all running just as it should so that you can avoid any other unwelcome surprises that might come along.

To set up your Olathe heating and cooling system checkup, just call Davenport Service Company 913-441-2222 today.

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