The 10 Most Disgusting Things Found in Air Ducts

Have you ever seen a spider, ant (or worse) crawl into or out of your heating and air conditioning vent? Wonder what else might be living there… and whether they’re likely to come out? You’re right: there are some disgusting things found in air ducts, and bugs aren’t the only things!

In most cases, there’s no harm done; air blows in and out, pests get caught in your high-efficiency HVAC filters, and all is well. But not always. The truth is, we’ve seen it all—or as close to it as you probably want to imagine! 

Air ducts are not totally closed systems, which means some pretty foul things can find their way into, and out of, them. 

Here’s our list of the top 10 most disgusting things found in air ducts:

10. Clumps of hair (NOT the current homeowners)
9. Diet Coke can (at least a decade old!)
8. Pet hairballs
7. Dead cockroaches (and a host of other once-wriggly critters too horrible to name)
6. Pet urine
5. Kitty litter with clumps of cat feces
4. Rodent feces and nest (yes: from mice and rats)
3. Mold and mildew
2. Snake skin 

And #1? The most disgusting thing found in air ducts: the remains of a dead squirrel. Yuck.

It’s probably no surprise then that we’re usually called when a homeowner notices a persistent bad smell that gets worse when the HVAC system kicks in.

Air passing over these unpleasant obstacles can circulate inside your home. They can also grab onto extra dust, particles and allergens that are bad for your health. In some cases, as noted above, mold, mildew and even pests are inside your heating and air conditioning system.

Excessive accumulated debris can be bad for your HVAC system too, causing it to run less efficiently and drive your energy bills up. 

So what are the signs that your air ducts need a good, professional, cleaning? 

  • Smell of mold and mildew increases when your system starts to blow
  • More dust on your surfaces, even shortly after you clean (and you’ve tried changing or cleaning your vent filters)
  • Higher energy bills (disproportionate to exterior temperature changes)
  • You’ve had some major renovation work done indoors (dust accumulates quickly)
  • You’ve moved into a NEW home (from sawdust to wrappers and soda cans, a surprising amount of debris finds its way into open vents during the construction process) 

If any of these sound familiar, it’s time to get your air ducts cleaned, so you avoid a scenario where any of these 10 most disgusting things found in air ducts are found in your home. Just give Dr. Detail Pro a call for air duct cleaning!