Posted by Dreen M on 21:53:12 5/4/2014 from 22.214.171.124:
The new AC unit (goes through the wall/slightly larger and a lot more $$ than a window unit) on my 5th floor condo in DC was invaded by a momma squirrel and 3 babies. It appears the back screen that covers the outside of the AC fell off (or was knocked off by squirrels?) and made it easy for animals to access it during the winter. The babies are now grown and after 3 days of no sightings or activity, it appears they have been weaned and have vacated. I attempted to clean the AC by pulling it into the apartment but it is FULL of nesting debris and moisture (urine?). The inside of the AC unit's insulation is destroyed and some of the wiring insulation has been chewed; they also chewed through some of the hard plastic that separates sections of the unit. I never got the inside clean enough to dare try to see if it still works. At this point, I wonder if it is worth cleaning out or if all the debris will pose a health hazard when the unit is turned on and all the air gets blown into the apartment. Is there a way to thoroughly clean something like this? Would an HVAC company do something like that and be able to repair squirrel damage or should I just replace it with a whole new one? Unfortunately, these units are minimum $800...And if I clean it and replace the back cover that was lost, will squirrels later try to return again because they recognize their scent?
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Here's a link to more squirrel removal information and pictures from Rid-A-Critter, an Atlanta animal control company.
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