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The air ducts in your home are vital to circulating heated or cooled air from your HVAC system throughout your home. In most homes, ductwork leads through many walls and ceilings in the home, and the ducts have vents that are designed to keep animals, people and various materials out of them. While these ducts are designed to keep foreign objects out of them, the fact is that things can become stuck inside of them. In fact, here are the most common items that get stuck in air ducts.

1. Air Particulates
If you were to open your air vent today and look behind the air filter, you likely would see a build-up of air particulates that includes dust, pet hair and a host of other debris. In some cases, this built-up matter is combined with mold growth. This matter can accumulate significantly over time, and it may require professional removal from an air duct cleaning service.

2. Family Pets
Some air duct vents are located on ceilings in homes, but others are located on walls. When the vents are removed for cleaning or when replacing filters, family pets may venture into these ducts and become stuck. It is most common for cats to crawl into the ducts because of their small size, but some smaller dogs have also gotten stuck inside air ducts.

3. Birds
While family pets may enter air ducts from inside the home, it is common for birds to enter ductwork from outside the home. If vents are not sealed properly, birds like sparrows and starlings will commonly seek shelter in air ducts. While birds often will fly in and out of the vents as desired, some can become stuck. For example, if the claw of a bird punctures the vent, the bird’s foot can become trapped in the duct.

4. Rodents
Just as birds will seek shelter in air ducts, rodents will too. Rodents that range from squirrels and chipmunks to ferrets, small possums and more can venture into air duct vents that are not sealed properly. These rodents can become trapped in an air duct in the same way that birds can. In addition, larger rodents that crawl into the ducts may not be able to turn themselves around in the ducts to get out.

5. People
Some people have tried to enter air ducts, and they have found themselves lodged inside the duct. Kids, for example, may be playing a game of hide-and-seek and think that hiding inside an air vent placed lower in a room is a great idea. Adults may try to crawl into the space while cleaning it, trying to free an animal that has become stuck and more.

If something is stuck inside your air ducts, consider calling a professional air duct cleaning service for assistance. If a person has become stuck in an air duct, you should consider calling for emergency response services.

Peter Wendt is an article writer living in the great state of Texas.  He likes to maintain his house but can never personally deal with the problem of having animals stuck in the air ducts.  Luckily, he found to do the dirty work of keeping his air ducts clean and animal-free.