Duct Cleaning Horror Stories: The Strangest Things Ever Found

Published On: October 26, 2022

Duct cleaning involves cleaning the components of your home or business’s forced air system. This relates to the supply and return ducts and registers, grilles, heaters, coils, drip pans, fan motors and fan housing, and more. Basically, duct cleaning involves cleaning your entire system. If your duct system is contaminated, you could be expending up to 25-40% more energy. What’s more…you could be getting sick because there are some very interesting things that have been recovered during duct cleaning. Read on to find out what.

Not So Nice Mice

One horror story reveals that a mice infestation, which occurred when a home was dormant, lead to some unsavory health issues in the new owners. While the owners exterminated the mice, they neglected to check the vents.

When the homeowners started to experience breathing problems, they called to have the ducts cleaned. The duct cleaning pros found dead mice, their feces, and chewed insulation inside of the vents. The duct cleaning reliably fixed the problem. The lesson here is to have the ducts cleaned when moving into a new home or office space previously occupied; you have no idea if there was an infestation before you came around.

An Archive of VHS Tapes

Air flow issues are always a cue to have the ducts cleaned. This is what one homeowner did when their air flow wasn’t what it used to be. During the cleaning, the pro discovered a piece of sheetrock blocking the circulation. When the sheetrock was broken through, the cleaning pro unearthed a pile of old VHS tapes. The owner had misplaced them during a renovation, and they somehow ended up in a location blocking the vent. The real question is (other than how they ended up in the vents during a renovation) is what was on those tapes?

Speaking of VHS tapes…another duct cleaning yielded a haul of 19 books and 45 VHS tapes; this was also the cause of an airflow issue. Respectfully, it’s ill-advised to use air ducts as storage spaces (or to hang onto VHS tapes). This not only impedes airflow, but it can also become a home safety hazard.

Toys & Baseball Cards

Little kids love strange spaces. They’re naturally curious about holes and vents and such, and often…out of curiosity more than anything, will hide toys and miscellany in said places (or they’ll just drop items into these spaces to see what happens). Usually, out of fear of “getting in trouble”, they don’t mention their misadventures to their parents. Thus, most parents don’t realize that a cadre of GI Joes, bouncy balls, toy cars, baseball cards, and the like could be not only accumulating dust in their vents but also creating airflow issues.

This was the case for one family that found baseball cards from 30 years prior during a duct cleaning (an indication of when the vents were last cleaned out). Whether or not the recovered ball cards were worth anything remains as much of a mystery as to the child’s mindset when he put them in the vent.

Illicit Materials

As it turns out, it’s not just children who like to hide contraband in duct work. Teens and adults are just as guilty. Adult magazines and drug paraphernalia have also been found in duct work. Um, mom…?

Well That’s…Fishy

Mold is a major reason to clean out air ducts. Often mold growth starts because of humidity or bacteria or moisture or vermin or other reasonable causes. Then there’s the issue of open food containers left in vents. Yes, food.

Many an open beer or booze bottle has been found in duct work. One particularly memorable find was an open can of sardines. It’s not certain when the sardines were placed where they were found, but suffice to say, it wasn’t a pleasant recovery. Of course, one does wonder…how did the smell of the festering fish in the duct work go unnoticed for so long?

Some food items, like that peanut butter and jelly sandwich that one duct cleaning pro recovered, probably don’t emit as many orders as they spoil. Still, their mold growth are surely of epic proportions.

Remains from…Before

Lastly, and perhaps most unsettlingly, remains have been found in ducts. Animal remains including foxes and squirrels have been found during duct cleanings. Feces of rats and mice (and, okay, the rats and mice themselves) have also been discovered.

A snakeskin was reportedly unearthed during a duct cleaning, which strikes as something out of a horror film. So unless you’re a diehard Harry Potter fan living out some kind of Hogwarts fantasy, the idea of a snake slithering around your vents while you sleep should be motivation to have them cleaned (or at least figure out when you last had the ducts cleaned). Yikes!

All duct cleaning horror stories and related nightmares aside, the reality is that dirty ducts can make people physically ill and can lead to seriously compromising health issues. The air flow and energy consumption of your property can also suffer. If you’ve never had your ducts cleaned, if it’s been a while, or if something just isn’t right with your air flow in terms of odor or performance, it’s time for a duct cleaning.

Duct cleaning has multiple benefits. It’s important to hire a company who knows what they’re doing; this gives you quality air and peace of mind. For a Cookville duct cleaning company that knows the ins and outs of cleaning your ducts, call us at Advanced Cleaning. We’ll make sure that your ducts are safe and clean!

Advanced Cleaning Cookeville, Algood & the Upper Cumberland

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