Furnace Finds: Strange Items Found in Furnaces

Found In Furnaces

Is your furnace harboring a dirty little secret?

According to HVAC technicians around the world, there’s a lot more than debris, dust and grime hiding in your furnace.

When you hear about clogs and obstacles in ductwork and other parts of your HVAC, you probably wouldn’t imagine it’s anything especially strange or outlandish — but you’d be wrong. Unfortunately, a relatively common find is mice (or at least their remains). Sometimes it’s your HVAC technician that notifies you of a pest problem!

Mice aren’t the only animals that head to furnaces for warmth in the winter months either. Squirrels, birds and even snakes have sought solace in HVAC systems.

That should be reason enough to always call in the experts when your furnace is acting a little off. In addition to having repair and maintenance training, a reputable technician is also well-versed in removing rodents and reptiles alike from HVAC systems.

X Marks the Spot

Sometimes pests can do serious damage to an HVAC system. For example, an animal the size of a squirrel can feasibly get to the control board to destroy the blower motor and board.

In some instances, the animals you find might still be alive and kicking! They may be hurt, scared or playing dead, and it’s possible they are carrying disease. If you do spot what appears to be a dead animal, don’t assume — it might still be alive and dangerous.

A few unmentionables also have been found in the fan coil units of college dormitories (use your imagination here). If it’s an item that likely would clog toilet plumbing, it’s been found in some parts of a furnace.

This Is No Treasure Hunt

The inducer motor is unfortunately a popular part of the furnace that attracts some shady characters. Bats have been found hiding here as well as some more common animals.

The spark ignition is another hotspot (literally). Chipmunks have been found stuck here, getting repeatedly zapped by a painful jolt that isn’t enough to kill them. Nobody but a pro should remove a hurt, angry animal from any part of a furnace.

You also might find old parts mixed in with new. For example, a draft regulator behind a blower on a decades-old furnace is more common than you think.

When replacing a furnace, HVAC technicians might discover all kinds of previous shoddy work. If you suspect your furnace is harboring something that doesn’t belong, call Roberts Mechanical, your local pro who’s seen it all and removed it all!