Some people are scared of mice, and some people find them to be adorable. Whatever your opinion of them might be, it's unlikely that you would want to unwittingly share your home with them. It's not something that should be a common occurrence, and yet it's still possible for wild mice to find their way into the inner workings of your air conditioner unit. Naturally, it's not an ideal environment for the mice, but it's also not something that you will want to happen for the sake of your family's well-being (not to mention for the sake of your air conditioner too). So how do you know if there are mice inside your air conditioner? And what can you do to solve the issue?
The Audible Warning
You are more likely to hear mice inside your air conditioning unit than actually spot them. This can happen when the unit is off, and you might hear the oddly distinctive sound of their claws clicking on the metal ductwork inside your walls. If you should hear this somewhat unsettling sound, you can then look for visual traces. Shine a torch inside the air conditioner's vents inside your home. It might be necessary to remove the vents with a screwdriver. You are looking for any mouse droppings, and it's unlikely that you will actually spot any mice, as they're more inclined to retreat further into the unit's inner workings when you inspect the vents.
Removing the Mice
If you suspect multiple mice, then it can be necessary to call an exterminator. With only a few culprits, you can just set a few traps yourself. Only use a traditional snap trap, placed directly behind the vent. These can be removed and disposed of when they have been triggered.The arguably more humane catch and release trap is impractical in this scenario as its size will impede airflow inside the ducts. Poisons are also unwise as these can be fed back into your home when the unit is is operation.
You will also need to contact a company that offers air conditioning repairs. Any mice that have died further along your ductwork will need to be removed. The insulation should also be inspected in case the mice have burrowed into it in an effort to make a nest. They will also inspect your system for any obvious points of entry. It might simply be that the mice have made their way inside via the outdoor component of your ducted unit when it was not in operation, but the repair company will be able to inspect the grating around the unit to see if any corrosion or degradation has opened up an entrance for the mice. This can be repaired as needed.
It's not as though being trapped inside an air conditioner is pleasant for the mice, and it can be just as unpleasant a thought for you and your family. If it was to happen, it's important to take the necessary action as soon as possible.