Pigeons Love Building Nests Underneath Rooftop AC Units

Rooftop Units Used to Be Quite Popular

Most newer built homes have a split AC system where the condenser is outside of the home on a small concrete pad that works with an air handler, usually in the attic.

Alternatively, there are many homes throughout the valley that have the older package style AC unit where the condenser and air handler are combined into one unit and they sit on top of the roof. Maybe you have one of these types of units? If so, you’ll want to read on…

Rooftop AC Units Are Pigeon Magnets

The problem with these types of AC units is that they have to sit level on an incline. This creates a gap between the roof and the bottom of the AC unit.

These types of AC units will sit level on a base with metal legs that support it. This creates a perfect place for pigeons to setup a nest and raise a family.

For commercial buildings, most AC units have rooftop package units. This is usually still the case, even with modern buildings. Additionally, some newer commercial buildings have the units in a fenced off area on the ground, but not always. These units often come in tonnages much larger than a residential AC, meaning these units can get huge.

We go out on jobs all the time for both residential and commercial buildings that have rooftop AC units. In every case they are always infested with pigeons creating a huge mess of poop and nesting materials. In most cases, it effects the operation of the AC unit itself. It can even cause them to completely fail. Here’s a great example of a job we did cleaning out a commercial AC unit where pigeons actually made a home inside!

When a package AC unit gets infested with pigeons and their nests, it can cause serious problems with the equipment. The condenser part of the unit, the part with the big blowing fan in it… That’s designed to move hot air away from the coils as quick as possible. If there’s any nests near this or even under it, it can then suffer from the lack of air flow. This will put wear and tear on the compressor causing the unit to wear out quicker than it’s supposed to.

Pigeons Can Do Real Damage To Your AC Unit

If a family of pigeons sets up a home under your rooftop AC unit, can be hard to get rid of. The nest can grow quite large, even enough to take up the entire area underneath the air conditioner while bulging out on all sides.

If they live underneath the AC unit, you can bet they’re going to spend a lot of time on top of the unit as well scoping out predators. This means pigeons will certainly be pooping all over your AC unit causing it to “hit the fan” or drop into the unit if it’s not running. This can pile up on or around the condenser unit. Over time that will absolutely destroy an air conditioner.

In addition to your AC unit, having pigeons up there can ruin part of your roof as well. They have highly acidic poop that can eat away at many surfaces. This includes the materials that make up most roofs. It can damage asphalt shingles, tile underlayment, fascia, paint, wood, and so on.

Bird infestations in rooftop AC units are quite common, you really have to keep an eye out. We have some advice for you on how to solve it below. Here’s some other ideas on how to deal with a bird infestation.

What To Do About It

Having a rooftop AC means keeping a close eye on it for birds that may want to make a nest under or close to it. The best thing to do is take preventative measures before any birds nest in there in the first place. However, if you have a problem, you need to remove it, clean it up thoroughly (make sure to wear a respirator so you don’t get any diseases from them), then put up solid hardware to keep them from gaining access again.

If you ever choose to do it yourself, it’s really important to wear a respirator mask. Not an N95 or dust mask, but a real respirator with filters on it. You can get them from just about any hardware store. Pigeon poop can carry some serious diseases that you do not want getting into your lungs.

If you need to have pigeons removed from your rooftop, we’re happy to come out and scare them away and make sure they can’t rebuild the nest.


If you have a rooftop AC unit you need to check it periodically for a pigeon infestation. If you do have one, it’s not if, but when a pigeon will find that space and make a nest in there. It can do serious long term damage to your property if not removed and cleaned up.

If you don’t have a pigeon infestation yet, now is the perfect time to install steel barriers to keep them from getting in the space under your unit. It’s always so much better to take preventative measures where pigeons can become a problem. It can save you a lot of money in the long run.

If you’re ready and need it done for you, call us any time and we will come out and keep your AC unit pigeon free!

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