Air conditioning is necessary to maintain comfortable environment in the living space. Many people living in seasonal regions take their window air conditioners out in summer or spring.
However the quality of air provided by your window air conditioner and its cooling performance can be deteriorated by a very common issue of birds nesting and polluting the surrounding, with in and top of your air conditioner. I researched on this topic to find out what actually works to get rid of this problem. I decided to write an article on it.
Birds may land on your air conditioner early in the morning making it very uncomfortable for you to sleep. Not to mention the bird droppings or poop that will not only make your air conditioner dirty but reduce the quality of air that is sucked in by the blower. Several methods are mentioned in this article that may be used collectively to resolve this problem.
So how to keep birds off window air conditioner? Birds can nest on, around and inside your window air conditioner in the summer or spring. You can take simple measures to prevent this: Installing bird spikes, using a slanted cardboard piece on top, using reflectors and other deterrents.
Why Birds Make Nest With In and On Top of Your Window Air Conditioner
The birds are looking for a secure and damp place to stay and nest there. They want a spot that is not accessible, shaded and safe. Also many birds go inside the holes of window air conditioner and make nest with in.
The internal section of window air conditioner is shaded as well as somewhat cool due to the flow of air. There are vacant spaces on the sides of window air conditioner that may also present a suitable spot that is inaccessible, safe and is not in direct sunlight.
How to Keep Birds Off Window Air Conditioner
Use Bird Spikes
You can use bird spikes at the spots on the air conditioner on which the birds sit or nest.
These spikes are flexible and can be trimmed it you want. It prevents the birds from sitting in the areas where it is installed.
They have worked for many people not only for air conditioners but so many other places like grills, shades, roof, and chimneys etc.
I have saved you from the trouble of finding it yourself. The package already includes the adhesive required for attaching the spikes.
Relocation of Feed and Bath for Birds
It is very kind to provide for birds by having a cup of feed or water in it for them so they can eat, drink and even cool by dipping in water.
But when you are about to install a window air conditioner to run in a particular season or over the whole year you need to relocate it.
It is better to keep it on the opposite side of the house. Just keeping it on the same side, despite little movement, would not do the job, as birds make nest close to where food is easily accessible to them.
If you were thinking of having a bird feed, do not be demotivated, just do it far away from the air conditioner.
Cleaning Nesting Material (if any)
If the birds have made nest in, on or around your window air conditioner and you have already removed it, make sure you completely get rid of it.
Check for sticks, grass etc. around window air conditioner. Also check for the nests or traces of nest close to the window AC. Get rid of those sticks, feathers and twigs entirely.
Mount a Slanted Cardboard
It can be really disturbing in the morning at sunrise while lying on your bed and not be able to sleep anymore.
You are very sleepy but cannot sleep because of birds dwindling on your window air conditioner and making a scratching sharp sound.
A simple solution exists for the top of your window air conditioner.
- Take a cardboard, cut it a bit longer than the length of your window AC.
- Then cut another piece of cardboard but smaller.
- Use the larger piece of cardboard to slant on smaller piece, at an angle on top of your window AC.
Note: Make sure to seal the space in the triangle formed by cardboard pieces. This will prevent birds from nesting within that space. You can use other pieces of cardboard to seal that space.
Seal the Holes in Your Window Air Conditioner
Look around your air conditioner to find any holes or spaces through which the birds may get in.
Trace for any nest or traces of nest with in your window air conditioner before taking any measures to seal the apparent holes.
If you cannot find any vacant zone in the external body of your air conditioner make sure to give a look inside. If you still find any traces you will know birds were able to enter from some hole.
You can use cardboard or anything similar to seal any holes through which the birds may get in. This will also improve performance of your AC somewhat.
Use Bird Deterrents
There are many things that you can use to repel birds from you air conditioner.
Birds do not like reflecting material. You may use different spots on your air conditioner to adhere something shiny like CDs or other reflectors.
There are artificial fake owls, hawks and snakes available in the market that can be installed on or near the window air conditioner at a suitable angle to prevent birds from sitting or nesting on and even near it.
These fake models have worked for many people not specifically for their air conditioner but also to prevent birds sitting and pooping on their grills, shades etc.
The other day I came across a product that was one of these models (specifically owl) that was reflective too. It is not only a model of the owl for scaring birds but also has reflective material covered on it to scare them away. The product has been pretty successful with good reviews. You may check it on Amazon by clicking here.
Surrounding Air Conditioner by Bird Netting
You can also cover your window air conditioner by bird netting. It will prevent the birds from interacting with your air conditioner over or around it entirely.
There are some air conditioner servicing companies that provide netting service and can setup a bird net around your air conditioner.
The downside is that netting is not easy for every location of air conditioner.
For air conditioners with separate condensers (Split ACs), it is convenient as their outdoor units remain there after installation, despite the change of season.
However for window air conditioner that is to be winterized after spring or summer, it may not be a popular choice.
Considering window air conditioners specifically, I have selected a bird netting for you. You may have to size it, other than that it is good to go. You can check it on Amazon by clicking here.
Wiping With a Strong Solution
It is a good idea to clean your AC regularly.
When you do so, wipe your AC with a strong solution that deter birds from sitting on it. You may use vinegar or bleach to wipe the surface of your air conditioner.
If you use other deterrents like fake models or reflectors, still wiping it would prevent the birds even more to interact with your window AC.
Use Bird Repellent Gel
You can also use bird proof gel to prevent birds from sitting on your window AC or making nest around it.
It is very unlikely for the birds to land on this. Further if they do land they are going to feel uncomfortable and take off.
I have selected the repellent gel that has worked for most of the people. You can check it on Amazon by clicking here.
Besides it also prevents diseases that are carried by birds and prevents fire hazards in case there is a fire nearby.
Make sure that you only use suitable quantity of this. Smearing large quantities may result in sticking of birds if they land on it. They will die from hunger due to this.
Apply dots only on the area where it has to be applied as provided in the instructions given on the product.
How Birds Can Affect You and Your Window Air Conditioner
Congestion of Evaporator Coil
The air that the blower blows across the evaporator coil is cooled by absorbing heat from the air. Twigs, feathers, grass and sticks can clog the evaporator coil. As a result air from blower will not properly interact with evaporator coil and proper cooling will not be possible. Further despite less cooling their will be an increase in electricity consumption.
Poor Air Circulation
The nesting material, feathers and droppings of birds may be sucked by the blower and result in clogging of filter. As a result the airflow will be constricted resulting in increased usage of electricity. More importantly dirty and filthy filter will deliver low quality air that is unhealthy for the inhabitants of the living space.
Blocked Condensation Lines
The stuffing of junk in the fins of condensation lines will result in decreased efficiency of window air conditioner. The bird droppings and nesting material may also clog the condensation lines that are on the outside section of window air conditioner. The heat is rejected by the fins to the external environment by refrigerant moving in those lines.
As a result air will not have a sufficient contact with the fins of condensation lines. Not only will you have insufficient cooling but also insufficient air flow and air quality.
Poor Air Quality
The birds in many parts of the world can carry bugs and mites that can be sucked by window air conditioner to the living space. This can cause serious skin problems and other diseases.
The dropping of birds on and around window air conditioner should be clean thoroughly and regularly. These droppings dried up in the vicinity of the window ac can cause serious health hazards. The particles in these droppings delivered by the air conditioner to the living space can spread microbes resulting in harmful diseases like Histoplasmosis, Cryptococcosis, St. Louis Encephalitis etc.(medicalnewstoday.com)
Birds and their droppings can carry over 60 diseases.medicalnewstoday.com
Damage to Insulation
The refrigerant lines are covered by insulation to prevent the escape of heat before being delivered to evaporator coils. The birds may peck off those insulation and break them off. The escaped refrigeration will have an effect on overall cooling performed by window air conditioner. The electricity consumption will also be increased due to loss of cooling.
The compressor is the moving component of the window air conditioner. The blower and exhaust fan are linked to the working of compressor. The nesting material, junk and droppings of birds may stuff the air conditioner to the extent that the operation of compressor is prevented. This problem may be caused by interruption in the rotation of blower (that delivers cool air indoor) or exhaust fan (that delivers warm air outdoor).
Your window ac will require early service due to clogging of running components. If it is not serviced it will cause your compressor to lose efficiency and eventually break down.
Bird Nesting Material As Fire Hazard
Most of the material used in the formation of nest by the birds is inflammable. It consists of twigs and stick made up wood and wood can burn. The grass and feathers are also inflammable.
A small spark in the window air conditioner may result in burning of the nesting material. Eventually this fire will be caught by other things that are burnable and close by i.e. curtain, window etc. The fire can also kill the baby birds that are contained in the nest in the absence of mother bird.