Remove the Vent Cover: Most floor air vents are simply placed over the duct work. Some vents, however, are screwed in and will need a screwdriver to unhinge the cover. Make sure you put the screws in a safe place while you are searching your duct.
Feel Around: Safely reach down into the vent and feel around for the dropped item. Every duct is different in terms of depth and angles. If you can find the item, pull it out gently so that it does not drop again.
Use a Wire Hanger: If you could not get the dropped item this way, you can try using DIY tools like a wire hanger. With this method, you will take the hook of the hanger and try to straighten out the shaft as much as possible, while still leaving the hook in place (this is what you’ll use to grab the object). You can try folding down the arms of the hanger, or untwisting to get more length. Once you have your tool, drop the hanger as far down the vent that it will go. Gently move around the top of the hanger until you bump into your object and hook it. Slowly pull the hanger back out of the vent and retrieve your lost item.
Use a Vacuum: Take the hose of your vacuum and insert it as far as possible into the duct. Turn on the vacuum and move the nozzle around. Check the vacuum canister for your lost item. You can also try putting pantyhose around the vacuum opening and secure with a rubber band. This would help create a suction to retrieve lighter, more obscure-sized items that wouldn’t get sucked up by the vacuum.
Hire a Professional Air Duct Cleaning Company: If none of these methods work, your dropped keys, toys, or objects are most likely lodged too far in your duct system. At Planet Duct, we have specific tools for retrieving items dropped down air ducts, and can safely return your item to you. Not to mention: we can get rid of all the dust, debris, and allergens floating in your HVAC system and polluting your indoor air.