Crazy things we've found in air ducts

The business of cleaning air ducts is a messy one. Although it's a tight space, there's plenty of room for dust, dirt and a lot more to get trapped. Here some of the crazier things we've cleaned out of a duct system.

One technician noticed there was problem with airflow to a basement bedroom. He tracked the problem down and when he tried to find the clog he reached in with his hand and pulled out a Smith & Wesson handgun. When the customer was notified, she simply replied, "Oh yeah. Crazy ex-boyfriend. Don't be surprised if you find more."

Where adults see venting, kids sometime see a plaything. Technicians have found cookies, PBJ sandwiches, matchbox cars, Nerf bullets and all sorts of toys.

In new construction homes, it's not uncommon to find all sorts of building materials such as, sheetrock, blocks of 2x4s, nails, tools and garbage that has been "lost" in the duct work.

As you might expect, our technicians have found their fair share of small animals in people's ducts. You should know to never put traps in your ducts. Mice or rats can get caught and drag the trap further into a vent. It can be an awful smell. It can also be a hazard if a glue board or other trap gets inside the furnace.

Commercial ducts are a lot larger than residential ducts, so discoveries there get a lot weirder. We heard that at a state college, a homeless person had bent back a fresh-air grate that led into the duct system and had been living there for many weeks. During that time they acquired a full bedroom set and a couch.

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