It all started with strange noises late at night.
They came from above, the attic from the sound of it.
During the day I would go up and check the attic, and nothing was out of the ordinary, but at night the sounds came back. It was driving me crazy, and I knew that it wasn’t just the house settling, either, it felt like a person moving around. My wife thought I was nuts, and even when I woke her up to listen with me she didn’t think it was worth worrying about. I decided to hedge my bets and set up an HVAC inspection. Not because I thought my air conditioner needed work, I just wanted an extra set of eyes to dig around in my place and see if they found anything weird. Two days later an HVAC tech came over, and she set right about getting her work done and looking at every part of the system. I asked her to check all the ductwork as well, to see if she could account for those late night phantom sounds. An hour later she told me she found something outside near the air handler. There is a small metal air duct that leads out, and for some reason the grating was missing. The HVAC tech speculated that at night, when everything was quiet and still, a squirrel or raccoon was climbing into the air ducts. She said she could fix the grating for the air ducts, but that if an animal was already inside she couldn’t help me with that.