There is a musty cat urine smell coming out of my A/C vents and I am at the end of my rope. My landlord has tried several things to get rid of it, but to no avail. I desperately need help or at least to know where to turn next for help.
In mid- April, the landlord had new cellulose insulation installed in attic. I come home to a horrible & very strong cat urine smell. Thinking that one of my cats has peed in the house (never happened before), I looked all over before realizing that the smell is coming from the A/C vents.
For the first 2 days, it was unbearable all the time. Now it's just gross when you walk in & the A/C has been running, but you don't notice it once you've been inside a bit, so the apartment is liveable -- I just can't invite anyone over.
What we've tried:
-Cleaning the coils & drip pan (twice, I think)
-Deodorizers (just combined the bad smell with a bad cover-up)
-12-hr ozone treatment in the house
-A/C inspection (not sure what they did, but they said no prob with A/C)
-attic inspection -- no smell up there & no sign of vermin
I recently bought one of those DIY home mold kits where you tape a petri dish to the air duct. A little bit of mold grew, but not a lot -- not sure if it's worth sending it in for analysis.
I'm told that the A/C system is a water chiller system. I know nothing about A/C systems. I live in Dallas, and it's been a very hot summer, so the A/C has been on at least part of every day. Last year, before the insulation was installed, the A/C couldn't keep up with the heat. I live on the 2nd floor of a 2-floor building. The building is probably from the 70s, but I think the A/C system is more recent -- probably 10yrs old, which is when the current owners bought & rehabbed this complex.
The problem with all the contractors who have come in to do work is that they walk in and realize it smells like cat urine, then they look and see I have 2 cats, and they basically assume that my cats are causing the problem.
My cats have never peed inside. Their litter box is outside on the balcony. Most of the apartment has hardwood floors, but the hall (where the return vent is) and the bedroom have carpet. I have gotten down on hands and knees and smelled every inch of the carpet. I have smelled every inch of the whole apartment -- no cat pee smell. The smell only comes from the A/C vents. All of the A/C vents are up high, so it would be physically impossible for my cats to have peed on/in them.
Please, please tell me where to turn next. Should I try for a duct cleaning? I hear that duct cleaning is a scam. I just can't live like this anymore.