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HVAC Horror Stories | Energy-Suckers, Explosions, and More!

Is your heating and cooling system haunted? Continue reading to find out!

We’ve compiled a list of HVAC horror stories from around the internet from real people. Although the stories below are highly embellished, all of these things are possible and could very well happen to you. Along with the home horror stories, you will also be informed of scarily effective ways to keep the energy monsters out of your home and save money every month on your utility bills.

You may want to turn the lights off and hold a flashlight up to your chin while reading this. It’s about to get spooky.


  • It was a dark and stormy night when a potential home buyer arrived to survey the home. Everything seemed fine until she made her way to the attic. Slowly, she pulled down that attic access hatch and climbed up. She could see dust and cobwebs swirling around from all of the leaks in her ductwork. Instead of properly sealing the ducts with mastic sealant or aluminum foil tape, someone had tried to use duct tape, which was coming apart at nearly every duct seam and compromising the vapor barrier. With all the moisture, dirt, and loose duct tape flying around, she got out of there as fast as she could. Driving away in the storm, she was able to see in her rearview mirror the “For Sale” sign swinging on its hinges. She never went back. (If you don’t want to scare the living daylights out of your potential home buyers, make sure you clean, seal, and insulate your ductwork!)
  • A man and his friend were sitting on the couch watching a movie when all of a sudden the A/C turned off. They tried to turn it back on, but nothing happened. The next day, they decided to replace the A/C system themselves. Everything was fine until they heard a steady drip coming from the living room. Upon inspection, they noticed water dripping from the overhead vents causing damage to the drywall, two pieces of furniture, and the home stereo. It seems that they had failed to install the condensate drain on the new air handler! The water overflowed into the ductwork, causing massive water damage and much-needed call to the local HVAC company. The two friends learned that day to think twice before attempting complicated DIY projects. Make sure you hire a qualified professional for all heating and air conditioning installations to avoid this horror from happening to you!
  • A homeowner called around to find an HVAC company with the cheapest service call fee and was pleased to find a company that did not even charge for a service visit. He went with the cheapest company to install a new furnace for his home. After waiting around for a week, the company called to postpone the installation for an additional three days because they had to wait for the parts to arrive at their facility. Frustrated, but still happy about the price, he watched TV as the technicians installed the new furnace. When the technicians left, he looked around and noticed dirty shoe prints, marks on the walls, and scratches on the floors. When he got to the furnace, he noticed that it was the wrong size and the ductwork didn’t seem to fit. He called to have the correct furnace installed and waited another week before anyone came out to his house. In the meantime, he was forced to buy space heaters and was in pain from all the kicks he was giving himself for going with the cheapest HVAC company in town.
  • BOOM!! The old man heard a loud bang reverberate throughout his home. Did the furnace explode? Was this a home invasion? It wasn’t the normal expanding and contracting noises that he hears occasionally from his ductwork. No, this sounded like an explosion! Carefully, the man approached the door to the basement and walked down into the darkness. All of a sudden, another large BOOM, but this time, he saw the furnace erupt a large ball of fire and gas. After processing this new information, he slowly made his way over to the main disconnect. Similar to the explosion your gas grill might make if you leave the gas running for too long and press the ignition button, this furnace had a delayed ignition. This time, the old man was lucky, but the next time maybe not so much. Being a responsible homeowner, he called his favorite HVAC technician the next day to inspect his burners. It had, in fact, been a clogged burner that caused the furnace explosion. Make sure you get your heating system inspected every year to avoid this frightening furnace experience!
  • It wasn’t just years of dust and debris that had accumulated in a local homeowner’s furnace. Due to neglecting her annual fall furnace tune-up, many cracks had developed in her combustion chamber. Since she had not installed a carbon monoxide detector near her furnace, she was completely unaware that deadly carbon monoxide and methane gases were leaking into her home. A week later, her body was found. Avoid this tragic fate by learning all the dangers associated with your gas furnace and how to protect your home and family from them.

Original versions of these HVAC stories.

As the weather gets colder and people begin turning on their furnaces, the likelihood for carbon monoxide poisoning stories increases dramatically. If you want to avoid being featured in the next HVAC horror story, make sure you have your heating and cooling systems checked by a professional HVAC technician every year. If you have not yet scheduled a furnace maintenance visit, do it now, before you start using your furnace regularly. A professional will find and fix the source of your CO leak.

Heavy concentrations of carbon monoxide (CO) can kill in minutes. Since carbon monoxide gas is colorless, odorless, and tasteless, you need a carbon monoxide detector to alert you to its presence. If, however, you feel any of the below symptoms of CO poisoning, get to fresh air immediately and call the fire department.

carbon monoxide detector safety

Also, go around your home and test all of your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. You should have them installed throughout your home, on every floor, and outside of every sleeping area. Test them every single month and replace batteries if necessary. Replace the entire alarm/detector every 10 years. For more information on smoke and CO alarms, visit this Fire and Safety Equipment page from

If you think your house is haunted, give Cassel Home Comfort in Champaign, IL a call to get rid of the energy-sucking monsters keeping you up at night.

To avoid these real-life HVAC horror scenarios, hire the trusted HVAC technicians at Cassel Home Comfort.

If you have any further questions on how to stay safe and comfortable this fall and winter, talk to the licensed, trained technicians at Cassel Home Comfort. Give us a call at (217) 866-1596. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to answer any questions you might have.