Help - Weird Smell From Vents

11 Replies

I bought a duplex and inherited a tenant with a cat. The cat peed all over the unit carpet, vents etc.  The tenants are now gone and we pulled up all the carpet, had the vents cleaned, used an ozone generator and we still have an odor coming from the cold air vents.  Any suggestions on what it can be or how to get rid of it? TIA

Originally posted by @Patrice Boenzi :

I bought a duplex and inherited a tenant with a cat. The cat peed all over the unit carpet, vents etc.  The tenants are now gone and we pulled up all the carpet, had the vents cleaned, used an ozone generator and we still have an odor coming from the cold air vents.  Any suggestions on what it can be or how to get rid of it? TIA

 As odd as it sounds, check the vents at floor level in each room. Remove the vent and look inside. I had a property once where a rat had infiltrated the vent system, slid down a vent apparently and couldn't make the jump back up. We opened up the vent, (it's just a couple of screws) & we removed his rotting carcass, sprayed the area with ammonia or whatever (Lysol, I can't quite remember) and the smell went away.

There’s a febreeze commercial where they blindfold people and then take them around all kinds of smelly stuff after they spray the febreeze.  No one can ever smell it!  I’d give that a try.

@Patrice Boenz I’d also make sure the AC filter is changed and maybe pour some bleach down the condensate line of the AC. A while back I thought something had died in the vents - but it turned out to just be a dirty condensate drain which was breeding mildew or whatever. Whenever the AC kicked on, it would pull that smell in.

You had the vents "cleaned" but does that mean someone vacuumed them out or someone washed them? if the cat urinated around the vent, some of the urine may still be down inside the vents. I would get a bleach solution and wash the vents as far as I could reach, plus wash the vent covers and surrounding wood.