How to Keep Your Furnace Safe from Rats

When it gets cold outside, you aren't the only one looking for a place to get warm. Rats that may spend most of their time outdoors also want to escape the cold temperatures, and there's no warmer place than near your furnace. In addition to rats being gross, they can also cause expensive damage. Here's how to protect your furnace from rats.

Eliminate Crawlspaces

While cartoons always show rats coming in through a big hole in the wall, they can squeeze in through much tighter spaces. Eliminating these gaps can help to eliminate rats from getting inside of your furnace and chewing up your wires. It can also help you save energy.

First, make sure any panels are tightly sealed. One of the most common causes of gaps that allows air leaks and vermin to crawl inside is a panel that's bent during work or a screw that's lost and never replaced. Then, consider adding insulation around your furnace. This gives it extra protection and makes it harder for rats to work their way inside. It also keeps cold basement air from reducing your heating efficiency.

Finally, make sure you have a tightly fitted air filter. Your filter should have a snug fit so rats can't go through your vents and get around it. Even normal airflow can bend your filter, so be sure to replace it on a regular schedule.

Let Your Cat in the Basement

If you have a cat, make sure it can get into your basement or furnace closet. Rats are looking for a safe space, and an area with cats isn't safe for them. Even if your cat is lazy, the rats don't know that and have a natural fear of predators.

You can use an insulated cat door to avoid having to leave a door open for your cats. If you're worried about rats coming through it, get a weighted or magnetic door that only your cat can push through.

Don't Ignore Your Furnace During the Warm Months

When your furnace is off for the season, don't just ignore it. A quiet, empty, enclosed space is the perfect place for a rat to nest even when they don't need to seek warmth. Check around your furnace at least once a month. If you see signs of rats, first call an exterminator, then call a heating repair company to inspect for possible damage.

To get fast help, talk to a local heater repair company today.