Winter is coming. Not only is the cold weather coming in, but so are rodents and other pests seeking shelter. Unfortunately, a rodent's journey can bring it inside of your window-mounted air conditioner, leading to a wide variety of problems. Urine, feces and even decomposing bodies can leave your A/C system smelling rank. Meanwhile, rodents are chewing through insulation and wiring, rendering your A/C system useless and your home nearly uninhabitable.
Use Bait to Lure Out Live Rodents
If you can hear a live rat or mouse running around inside of your window-mounted A/C system, coax it out of the machine using tasty bait. Rats and mice have their own favorite foods, but both rodents love peanut butter, making it the ideal bait for your trap.
You can use lethal or non-lethal means to hunt your quarry. If you're going for the merciful option, carefully research your non-lethal mousetrap options to prevent escapes.
Remove and Clear the Unit of Dead Rodents
A dead rodent can cause all sorts of problems inside your air conditioner. The decaying corpse not only causes unpleasant odors, but it can also attract maggots and other insects into your A/C system. Mold and mildew can also flourish within your A/C system thanks to the decomposing carcass.
You'll need to remove your window air conditioner just to have a better chance of finding and eliminating the source of the odor. After taking off the top panel of the A/C unit, use a small plastic spatula and a pair of plastic tongues to remove the corpse and all rodent droppings from the unit.
Check for Signs of Damage
Depending on how early you got to your unwanted house guests, the damage done to your window A/C system might not be noticeable. But the longer the problem goes unchecked, the more damage rats, mice and other rodents can potentially do to your system.
Check the unit inside and out for any wiring that appears to be frayed, cut or shredded by possible rodent activity. Don't forget to check the evaporator coil for any signs of corrosion caused by rodent urine and feces.
Thoroughly Clean and Test the Unit
Regardless of whether you coaxed a live rodent or pulled a dead rodent out of your A/C unit, it's a good idea to sanitize the unit before putting it back into service (or back into storage if you don't need your window A/C later on.
Use a disinfecting spray and mild anti-microbial detergent to thoroughly clean every inch of your A/C unit. Let the unit dry out before placing it in storage, as trapped moisture can lead to premature rusting and corrosion.
Contact an air condition repair service for professional help.