Suspecting that you have a dead mouse in the ductwork sits high on the list of things homeowners never want to deal with, but it could happen. The smell alone is all the evidence you need that your once clean ductwork needs immediate attention.
What to Do
Chances are, the ducts in your home run through the attic where mice can make their way into your home or ductwork. The easiest way to pinpoint where the smell is coming from is to sniff it out with your nose. You’ll also need a strong flashlight, ladder and screwdriver.
- Remove the register cover using the screwdriver.
- Shine the flashlight into the ductwork and look for signs of a dead animal. If it’s a mouse, it may be quite small in spite of how badly it smells.
- Assess whether you can reach it. Grabbing tools might help, and you can also fashion your own by taking apart a close hanger to use as a hook or using a broom to fish it out.
- If you’re not sure you can handle the smell one more time but want to do the work yourself, use the same technique veterinarians use when encountering foul smells: Smother the area just beneath your nostrils with menthol ointment used for colds and coughs. After retrieving the body, use bleach to sanitize the area.
If you’re one of the many who’d rather not deal with any part of the problem, call your HVAC contractor promptly for assistance. When the technical team has extracted the deceased, they’ll also make sure you have clean ductwork after they’re done. They’ll also pinpoint the place where the vermin entered the ductwork and fix it.
The best ways to stay on top of the condition of your ducts is through annual HVAC system inspections and paying attention to the condition of your register covers. When the covers are dust-free, chances are you have tight and clean ductwork. If you have any concerns about the condition of your ducts, contact Rinaldi’s Energy Solutions, providing HVAC services for Orlando-area homeowners.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Orlando, Florida and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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