What to do if you’ve found a birds’ nest in your ducts

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Spring has arrived, with warmer temperatures, budding flowers, and chirping birds … nesting in your ducts? That’s right – as birds search for a cozy corner to raise their little families, your ducts can look awfully appealing. They’re safely tucked away from predators and stay nicely warm on cool nights. Perfect for little baby birds!

Not so perfect for your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) unit though. Birds’ nests in your ducts can have several potential consequences. They obstruct proper air flow and compromise the efficiency of your HVAC system. The reduced air flow also decreases heating and cooling effectiveness, which can result in higher energy bills.

Birds’ nests also pose a fire hazard. Dry nesting materials like twigs and straw can become highly flammable if exposed to heat from the duct or nearby electrical components. This increases the risk of a fire starting and spreading throughout your ventilation system.

And if nesting materials block vents or exhaust outlets, it will prevent proper ventilation of air and potentially cause a buildup of carbon monoxide and other harmful gasses. It’s crucial to address the situation promptly by removing the nest if possible and taking steps to prevent future nesting – no matter how sweet those little birds are. 

At Whyte Ridge Furnace & Air Duct Cleaning, we love wildlife as much as the next person. Manitoba is home to lots of beautiful bird species, but some – like house sparrows, European starlings, rock pigeons, and barn swallows – can become pesky inhabitants of your ducts and vents. When that happens, make sure you call animal control or a local bird expert first – some species are protected by rules like the Migaratory Birds Regulations. However, if possible, a wildlife expert will be able to relocate the cute little bird family to somewhere more appropriate. 

Once your tiny neighbours have been resettled or moved on, you’ll want to make sure that your home is protected from any risks associated with the nests. That means calling in the experts. A thorough inspection of your ducts will allow us to assess their condition, identify any damage, and evaluate potential airflow restrictions. 

Having your ducts cleaned will remove anything left behind, like debris, feathers, and droppings. Otherwise, these can compromise your indoor air quality, contributing to allergies and other symptoms. Professional duct cleaning will eliminate these contaminants and improve the overall cleanliness of your ductwork.

And those adorable little birds can also be monsters, wreaking havoc on the integrity of your ducts. If there’s significant damage, you might need repairs or even replacement of sections of your ductwork to ensure proper functioning and efficiency of your HVAC system. 

If you’ve been sharing your home with feathered friends, don’t wait to take action. Being prudent about checking vents and inspecting ducts will keep your home both comfortable and safe. If you’ve been lucky enough to escape having birds’ nests in your home so far, don’t count on that luck continuing. It’s better to take preventive action to prevent nesting in the first place. Here’s what we recommend:

  • Install vent covers. These covers or screens are specifically designed to keep birds out while allowing proper airflow. They can be installed over the openings of your ducts, preventing birds from entering these cozy spaces to build their nests. 
  • Seal any openings or gaps. Birds can gain access from even the tiniest gaps, so seal any open areas with materials such as mesh, wire, or caulking to prevent entry.
  • Keep your trees trimmed. Birds love to nest close to their food sources. If your trees and vegetation are kept trimmed, birds are less likely to view your property as an ideal nesting location, which will make your vents less appealing.
  • Use bird deterrents. Something as simple as reflective tape or wind chimes deter birds from wanting to nest in the area.
  • Be vigilant about maintenance. Failing to maintain your ducts can not only impact  your health and comfort, but also increase your costs by making your HVAC system less energy efficient and more prone to breakdowns. Check your vents regularly for signs of bird activity or nesting materials.
  • Call in the professionals. If you’re facing persistent bird nesting issues, consider consulting with wildlife removal experts, and ask us about how our HVAC technicians can help you install preventive measures to discourage nesting in your ducts.

Yes, spring is a time of renewal and rebirth, but you won’t be celebrating if you find yourself sharing your home with a bird family. Instead of toasting any tiny new neighbours, be proactive about preventing nesting. And make sure you call Whyte Ridge’s reliable duct cleaning experts to keep your ductwork clean, no matter what debris is hiding in there. Cheers to that!