What You Do When A Rodent Dies In Your Ductwork

Even though it’s a terrifying thought, but one that homeowners face, rodents dying in your ductwork. A rat, mouse, or other small rodent makes the mistake of getting trapped in the ducts only to die and leave you with the mess and the smell.

There will be no doubts or question on IF there is a dead rodent. The real question is where that smell is coming from and how can you get rid of it? Unfortunately, when some rodent dies in the ductwork of your home, a foul smell scatters throughout the entire area.

While just the thought is unpleasant, the underlying reason you have that horrible odor is not always simple to remove. The following are the details of what you do when a rodent dies in your ductwork.

Before you take on this endeavor, know that a job like this is easy outsourced to a professional. If you find that you can’t perform the work yourself, be sure to explain your situation when you contact an HVAC  provider.

Some HVAC companies would prefer you contact animal or pest control but most HVAC techs are happy to do the job.

Tracking the Scent When a Rodent Dies in your Ductwork

As you can imagine, the smell that comes from a decaying rodent will be strong and visible. It’s typically the smell that alerts homeowners that there may be something dead somewhere in the home. Often the smell is so strong that you think it’s coming from the ducts when in fact it’s in the attic, crawlspace, or basement.

When rodents make your home their final place to rest, finding where is often the biggest challenge. Usually, rodents will crawl back into nooks, crannies, dark corners or in insulation to die. The challenge is finding your deceased rodent to give it a proper burial.

Once you locate the rodent, you should disinfect the area to rid your home of that horrific smell. Unfortunately, to find the source, you are going to have to use your nose. You may get lucky and narrow down the smell to a particular vent in the home.

If so, remove the vent cover and peek inside using a flashlight to see all around. If you see the dead carcass, then you can move on to the next phase of removing the animal and cleaning the area.

But, if sniffing and searching delivers smells but no source, you may require a professional to help with finding and eliminating the rodent from the ducts.  Keep in mind that the area where you have heard running sounds is usually not going to be where a rodent dies.

You should know when you find the area where the animal is because of the smell. Most likely it will be overwhelming. The stench of a rotting carcass will seep through boards, sheetrock, etc. which is why locating the area of the rodent shouldn’t be hard.

How to Remove and Disinfect an Area Where a Rodent Dies in Your Duct Work

Once you’ve found the area where the dead rodent is, it’s time to remove the remains and disinfect the area. There are a few items you will need to get the job done. These are gloves, a garbage bag, paper towels, and disinfectant spray.

If the rodent is out of your reach, you may have to rely on other tools to reach the location. That could range from a vacuum hose to something as simple as a wire clothes hanger. Whatever it takes to get the carcass within your reach.

Once you have pulled the decaying rodent within reach, use your gloved hand to place it in the plastic garbage bag. Depending on how long the dead animal has been in the ducts, you may have several pieces to remove.

Immediately throw the garbage bag away. Once you have the rodent removed, you need to thoroughly clean and disinfect the area. If the area is too far from your reach, try to use a mop to clean and disinfect.

If you find this impossible for any reason, contact an HVAC contractor, and they can assist with no problems. Once the source of the odor is gone and the area is properly clean and disinfected, the smell through your home should go away.

Locate and Patch the Entry Point After You Remove the Rodent From Your Ductwork

Now that the rodent is gone and the area clean and disinfected you should do a couple more things. First, you will want to inspect your unit and the ductwork to see how and where the rodent was able to make entry into your home in the beginning.

You may very well discover that you have leaks in the ductwork meaning you are losing heat and cold air. That is one reason why it is usually best to let your HVAC technician remove the rodent in the first place to find and make the necessary repairs.

However, if you are weeks, even months away from your annual inspection, you should go ahead and contact your HVAC contractor and have them check your ducts. There are many HVAC contractors that clean ducts as well.

When you have a professional take care of cleaning your ducts, they will clean, scrub, and disinfect the area affected by the dead rodent. That is, in reality, the best way to handle this type situation to have your area free from harmful bacteria.


As you can see in the above text the removal, cleaning and disinfecting after a rodent’s death happens in your ductwork is not pleasant. There is nothing fun about reversing the damage. Not only is not finding the critter stressful, but the entire situation is not so easy on the stomach.

If you have a dead smell coming from your vents, a rodent is most likely the culprit. All Hours Air is the team to call to rectify the entire situation, including cleaning your ducts. So if you find yourself in this situation, give us a call before or after removal, and we will get your home as it once used to be.


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8 Reasons to Tune-Up Your Furnace for Winter

There are many reasons to have your furnace fine-tuned before winter arrives. Did you know that most problems that occur with a furnace are due to the lack of care given to your equipment? House fires are often due to issues concerning your furnace.

Your unit may have functioned well last winter season without needing repairs. However, you still should have your system checked before winter arrives just to be on the safe side.

You may not see the need of having your furnace serviced if it ran well the prior year. But, consider a tune-up as a preventative measure to prevent a future problem. Here are seven reasons to tune up your furnace for winter. The following are 8 Reasons To Tune Up Your Furnace For Winter.

Grounds for a Furnace Tune Up


An annual furnace tune-up assists with keeping you and your family safe. The reason for a heater is to heat your home. You want your living environment to remain comfortable.

If your unit runs from fossil fuels such as natural gas, oil, or propane, danger lurks. One small crack could allow leakage throughout your home

These leakages often contain gases that are harmful. Carbon monoxide is the leading health concern as well as deaths during the winter season. To be safe, have All Hours Air service your unit before winter arrives, do it for health problems.

2. Keeps Your Warranty Valid

Most warranties are only valid if there is annual maintenance. You don’t want your warranty coverage to expire due to the lack of maintenance. The warranty coverage can assist you in saving on greater expenses down the road.

3. Decrease in Function Issues

Throughout the winter months, your heating unit operates hard to keep your home warm at a comfortable level. As your furnace runs endlessly, there are more likelihoods for a unit failure. You don’t want your system to stop operating in the coldest part of the season.

One of the principal causes of system failure is the accumulation of dirt and dust. By scheduling an annual furnace tune-up, the chance of accumulation decreases. You can keep your furnace going in the most proficient manner possible.

4. Increases the Life of Your Unit

When your heater functions efficiently, your unit will last longer. You need your system operating productively for many years. To replace your heating system due to faulty furnace maintenance is a costly task.


When your equipment is working at the highest level, you are saving energy. Poorly maintained heating systems could use more energy to run.

Lower efficiency will show in your utility or fuel cost on top of repairs. The saving in repairs and/or replacement will save you money in your in heating expense.

5. Allows for Adequate Airflow

A heating system tune-up will ensure you are getting good airflow through the unit. Proper venting is critical for competently distributing heat through your household. If you experience insignificant airflow, your unit will run harder to keep the desired temperature.

The increased stress on the unit will often cause a breakdown or greater energy usage. A scheduled furnace system tune-up will save you from the cost of replacing components or a whole system failure.

6. Preventive Time Saver

If you have your unit serviced before the cold arrives, you could be saving on inconvenience, time and money later. A system tune-up can keep you from suffering through a cold morning as you wait for the repair tech to show.

The costs and amount of repair services are less with a yearly furnace maintenance. You don’t need your unit to fail at the most inconvenient and coldest time.



7. Important Wire Check

The heater system tune-up should involve of a wire test. The inspection of wires is crucial for your safety. If a wire turns out to be broke or lose, this increases your odds of a fire hazard. The slightest amount of weathering can lead to significant damage to your heating system and household.

8. Blower Maintenance

The furnace unit tune-up typically includes blower maintenance. Checking the seal will guarantee the entree door is correctly closing. That helps with keeping the heat flowing properly. If any debris has developed in the blower wheel, the system will require cleaning to guarantee efficiency.

The slightest amount of debris will cause the blower to malfunction or breakdown requiring higher unit maintenance expenses.


A furnace unit tune-up may appear like a needless expense. However, yearly furnace maintenance will help keep your heating system operating efficiently saving you the costly repairs and possibly a system failure.

The efficiency of the system can save you in many ways. Lower utility bills and increased healthy living environment are worth the cost of annual maintenance.

As you can see through these 8 Reasons to Tune Up Your Furnace for Winter, having your heating system tuned up before it gets cold is critical. Not only can you and your families health become affected, but you can also illuminate unnecessary expense.

All Hours Air is as reliable now as we have been over the years in providing our customers with the professional service you need.  With winter being right around the corner, it is important that you have your system serviced now.

As mentioned in the above post, waiting can be costly and inconvenient. Our technicians are as devoted to your safety and comfort as they are their own homes. With our 24-hour emergency promise, we want to make sure you and your family live in comfort.

Give us a call today for your furnace maintenance so you and your family can rest assured you will spend your cold month in a warm home environment.


Posted in Furnace Issues, Oil Furnace Repairs | Leave a comment

Selecting the Best Air Conditioner Unit For Your Home

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Cleaning Your Window AC Unit, Avoid Mold and Mildew

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Do I Really Need an Air Conditioner Tune-Up Every Year?

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Oil Furnace Troubleshooting DIY

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Have your Home’s Ductwork Inspected Before this Happens

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How did your furnace heat this winter?

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What do Furnace Energy Efficiency Ratings Mean?

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5 Simple Ways To Reduce Your Summer Cooling Costs

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