Finding a deceased animal in your air ducts can be a distressing experience, not to mention the bad smell and potential health risks. At Anderson Air, we understand that it’s important to address this quickly to keep you and your household safe.
Your ductwork should never smell like something died in there. But what if it does? In this article, we’ll cover what to do if you suspect a dead pest in your HVAC system and how to safeguard your home’s air quality.
Signs of a dead animal in your air ducts
While it’s an unpleasant thought, a dead animal in your air ducts is actually more common than you think for both homes and business properties. Here are some signs to look out for:
- Unusual Odors: Noticing a strong, rotten smell coming from your vents that seems to get worse overtime? It could be a sign of a deceased animal.
- Increased Pest Activity: Seeing an unusual number of pests (like flies and insects) in your home might mean they’ve found an easy food source: a dead animal in your ducts.
- Unusual Sounds: If you hear scurrying or scratching noises coming from your vents, it could be a trapped animal. If these sounds abruptly stop, it might mean the animal is no longer alive.
- Airflow Problems: Dead animals can block the airflow in your ducts, causing increased dust and inconsistent heating or cooling.
If you are a home or business owner and notice any of these signs, seek help from a pest control specialist as soon as possible to get your system cleaned and sanitized.
Potential health concerns
Not only can a deceased animal in your ventilation system affect your quality of life, it can also pose serious health risks to you and your family. The decomposing process introduces pathogens (harmful microorganisms that can cause a variety of illnesses) and other harmful substances.
During this process, pathogens and other toxic gasses enter the air and can easily be inhaled or come into contact with food, increasing the likelihood of infection, disease and other health issues. It can also increase the risk of allergies and worsen existing respiratory conditions.
If, in addition to the signs of a dead animal in your air ducts, you also notice these symptoms, contact your healthcare professional:
- Trouble breathing
- Watery eyes
Maintaining healthy indoor air is crucial. Our home’s air quality directly impacts our overall health and everyday life. A deceased animal in your air ducts can significantly compromise indoor air quality and pose a risk to health, emphasizing the need for immediate attention and professional help.
Not only can it affect the air quality, but a blockage in your system can affect its functionality. If your system overheats, it can damage its components and even become a fire hazard.
Removal: A job for the professionals
Handling a deceased animal in your air ducts is a task best left to professional service companies. These situations require specialized skills and knowledge to safely and effectively remove the animal and clean the affected area.
They are familiar with city laws and regulations for the safe disposal of animals, urine, and any other waste found in your vents.
Since it can be an occupational safety hazard (contributing to water and soil pollution), Arkansas state law requires animal carcasses (i.e., roadkill) to be disposed of in a particular manner. Professional pest control and waste collection specialists will remove all hazards from the premises and carry out the necessary sanitation measures.
If you notice unusual odors, increased pest activity, odd animal-like sounds, or inconsistent heating or cooling, it’s time to call in professionals.
Additionally, air care and HVAC professionals, like the pros at Anderson Air, can thoroughly clean and disinfect your system, eliminating pathogens, allergens, and other safety hazards, thereby restoring the quality of your indoor air.
How to remove the odor
Getting rid of the lingering odor can be challenging and will often depend on how bad the smell is. Here are a few things you can try:
- Natural Airflow: Open your windows and doors to flush the stinky air out and bring fresh air inside. This natural ventilation can help reduce the intensity of the odor.
- Air Purifiers can help clean the air and reduce foul smells. Opt for a purifier with a HEPA filter, as these can trap tiny particles and improve air quality through filtration.
- Odor Absorbers: Products like activated charcoal, baking soda, or specially designed odor absorbers can help you neutralize the smell. For the best results, place these in your vents/near the source of the smell.
While these can help, they are typically more effective for milder odor issues. If you’re experiencing a stronger, more persistent smell, seek the help of professional odor removal and air quality specialists like our Anderson Air technicians.
We have the tools and the know-how to eliminate the smell and restore your air quality.
How to prevent animals from living in your air ducts
Air ducts can be an appealing refuge for many animals. It’s a warm, dark, comfy environment often perfect for seeking shelter or a place for nesting. However, while it’s a haven for critters, it can wreak havoc on you and your HVAC system.
When trying to prevent animals from living in your air ducts, consider the construction of your home. The design of your home and HVAC system will help identify the best way to limit critters.
Here are some common ways to prevent animals from entering your ductwork:
- Seal Your Air Ducts: Make sure all potential entry points to your ducts are sealed. Animals can squeeze their way through surprisingly small gaps, so be sure to close off even minor cracks or holes.
- Regular Duct Cleaning/Maintenance: Regular inspection and cleaning of your ducts can help deter animals by eliminating debris that can become potential food sources or nesting materials. It also means you’re more likely to spot early signs of an infestation helping you act sooner.
- Use Protective Covers: Install protective covers like wired mesh over your vents that lead outside to prevent animals from entering. These prevent wildlife from entering but still allow air to flow freely.
- Maintain Your Yard: Overgrown trees/shrubs and unsecured trash can attract animals. Keep your yard clean and your garbage and recycling bins sealed – give them no place to take up residence.
- Get Professional Help: If you suspect an infestation on your property, don’t delay in contacting professionals. Early intervention can prevent significant damage and potential health risks.
At Anderson Air, we offer comprehensive services to ensure your HVAC system remains in excellent condition and free from unwanted animal tenants. Your comfort and health are our top priority.
Choose the best team in Arkansas for your air care.
Maintaining your indoor air quality is crucial for your comfort and health. If you suspect a wild animal in your home or HVAC system, don’t ignore it.
From odor removal to preventative HVAC services, the team at Anderson Air provides a comprehensive range of services to ensure your air ducts are safe and free from unwanted guests. Our team has faithfully served customers in Springdale, Fayetteville, Bentonville and the northwest Arkansas region for over 50 years, and we’d be happy to serve you next.
Don’t let an animal problem turn into a larger health issue. For expert assistance, contact our office.