13 answers

Horrible Smell Coming Through the Vents

Last year we smelled an odor that we thought was a dead squirrel. It was only coming into two of the four bedrooms through the ducts so we covered those vents and kept the heat on. Here we are a year later, and when we turned on the heat this winter we have the exact same smell. It is not as pungent as it was, but definitely there. We think something died in the vent above my daughters room. We tried putting air filters over the spot and everything, but we are amazed that the smell is still there after a whole year. Have you ever heard of a smell of death lasting that long after it died? Could it be another problem? Last year the smell made us feel sick, nauseous...This year that is gone but the smell is undeniable. Is the odor toxic, and unhealthy or harmless?

What can I do next?

More Answers

This would make me crazy. I'd have some professionals come in and clean your ducts. I just checked and Sears does it for less than $150. Not sure what size that's for, but in general it's not that expensive and would definitely be worth it. Plus it would just get dust and other allergen type stuff out as well.

2 moms found this helpful

I suggest you get your ducts cleaned or "blown out." I don't know if it is toxic but it sounds like an awful thing to have decided to live with especially if it made you sick. I do know we had racoons in our attic, and after they were removed, we were told by our vet they carry a very dangerous parasite and aren't even allowied in the vet's office. So I think there would be something toxic, although a year later it is probably now harmless.

2 moms found this helpful

Do you use the air conditioning in this unit as well? If so, it seems like you would have been smelling this all year when using the air conditioning as well. If not then it sounds like a possible mold issue. Call a HVAC company to clean out the duct work & have them service your unit as well bc they can spray a disinfectant on your coils that will go throughout house when using the unit. Good Luck with your smelly problem! :)

2 moms found this helpful

Well I would suggest having someone come out and clean out your ducts. Not one that just vacuums out the first couple of feet from the vent but someone that runs a cleaner all the way through. It's possible that something is still stinking after a year if it's not left out in the elements.
C.

2 moms found this helpful

no one could tell you that if you dont even know for sure what it is. Id call one of those places that cleans your vents and get them to come clean your vents.

1 mom found this helpful

I used to get an acrid smell of burning dust at the beginning of every winter season in a place I rented. It subsided after a few days. I think an animal would've dried out by now.

1 mom found this helpful

I had this happen to me when I was in an apt. I kept telling eveyone there was a dead bird/squirrel/mouse something in the walls. The landlord finally sent an electrician out and I had a smoldering/small burning electrical fuse between the wall. The had to remove the wire and replace the fuse. Definately get it checked out. Good luck

1 mom found this helpful

Hi,
You seriously need to get your vents and ducts cleaned. I'm not a doctor but that can't be good for you to be breathing. If you've never had them clean you likely have all kinds of gross stuff and allergens in there. Its usually less than $150. We had it done when we moved into our new house. It was so amazing all the gunk they cleaned out. We could tell the previous owners had never done it. So gross to think we were breathing that stuff!

1 mom found this helpful

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