Cleaning dog urine from an HVAC return vent

The love I have for my dog Scruffy is immeasurable.

He’s a black labrador that I rescued from an animal shelter several years ago.

He had lost his family to an unthinkable accident and needed a new home and love to fill his little heart. Ever since, Scruffy and I have been inseparable and he has followed me through two separate relationships and three jobs so far. But as much as I rightfully love Scruffy, he’s not perfect by any means. He barks more than he should, tries to get in the garbage despite my best efforts, and occasionally I find urine in weird places. Once he peed at the base of my refrigerator which forced me to pull the huge thing away from the wall and spend an hour or so struggling to clean the bottom off. But the absolute worst place I have found Scruffy’s urine is inside the air return to my HVAC system. My return connects to the base of my air handler which is located in an interior closet in my house. Therefore, the vent for the return is installed at floor level on the adjacent wall. Anything on the floor or on our feet can get inside my filter and then into my air system. The dog urine was on a completely different level I was simply not prepared for. Even after four hours of scrubbing and rescrubbing with different detergent and baking soda mixes, I called a professional HVAC cleaner to finish the job. I’m considering buying a new HVAC system so that I can have air returns on the ceiling instead, preventing anything like this from happening again. It’s not cheap having a professional HVAC cleaning crew work on your system, so hopefully investing in a new setup would mitigate any additional costs in the future.


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