Air-con crankers warned not to attract this destructive home wrecking guest

Paul Eyers
By Paul Eyers
3 Min Read

Cranking the air-con could attract some unwanted summer guests, and no it’s not the neighbours or even the in-laws.

With Aussies already reeling from record temperatures this summer, air conditioners have become the nation’s saviour as we seek refuge from the sweltering heat.

The heatwaves have been caused by a rare combination of weather patterns,  which will see the mercury continue to rise into early 2024.

But a Brisbane-based pest controller has warned that choosing to blast the air conditioner all summer could leave a hole in your house, as well as your wallet.

Alex Heron has worked as a pest controller for more than a decade and told Build-it that leaking air conditioners that are left to run are a magnet for some of Australia’s most unwelcome pests.

“If your air-con unit is seeping residue down your walls either inside or outside your home, there’s a good chance you’ll end up with termites,” he said.

“Not many people realise they’re attracted to the moist timber, and with so many houses in Queensland made of wood, it’s actually a problem we encounter more than you’d think.”

Keeping your air conditioning well maintained and knowing when your unit might need an upgrade was key to keeping termites away.

Subterranean termites are insects that feed on wood, frequently becoming pests of homes by eating away essential wooden structures.

The problematic pests are often hard to notice, concealing themselves within the wood or soil itself, moving in hollowed-out tunnels and often destroying the structure from the inside out.

Identifying the pests early is key as their presence indoors generally means professional treatment is needed to prevent damage to the home or structure.

Build-It’s air-con maintenance tips:

  • Clean filters – Regularly clean or replace air filters to maintain airflow and reduce energy consumption.
  • Clear Debris – Keep the outdoor unit surroundings free from debris for efficient airflow and better performance.
  • Check for issues – Inspect for leaks, unusual noises, or issues, and address them promptly to prevent damage.
  • Thermostat efficiency – Adjust thermostat settings when away and consider a programmable thermostat with a timer setting.
  • Annual maintenance – Schedule yearly professional maintenance for inspections, cleaning, and addressing potential issues.

Alex says the problem isn’t exclusive to air conditioning condensation, with other leaks around the home also luring the unwelcome critters.

“Addressing any leaks around the home is key because once these pests are involved, they can quickly cause some serious damage to your property that costs a lot more to amend than getting an air con service,” he said

“A quality pest controller can assess these risks and treat your home to ensure termites are taken care of as well as any other unwanted guests.”

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Paul Eyers has worked as a journalist for a range of media publishers including News Corp and Network Ten. He has also worked outside of Australia, including time spent with ABS-CBN in the Philippines. Stepping away from the media, Paul spent five years sharpening his tools in construction - building his skill set and expertise within the trade industry. His diverse experiences and unique journey have equipped him with an insider view of Australia’s construction game to dig deep into the big stories.