Folks have heard me complain about the lack of maintenance response in my apartment, so when a heating duct decided to offer some thoroughly maddening screeching, I knew I was gonna be on my own. It's in a floor vent and I'd hit the sides of the thing with a broom thinking it was some bracket that had come loose. No luck.
Then I saw a piece of stray metal flashing, and it looked like it was blowing in the air coming up. Nothing I had could reach it, though I remembered a big pole down in the garage for hanging something, what I don't know. I retrieved it, whacked the piece of flashing loose and poof. No more screeching.
The moral of the story. Keep your calm and your wits about you while you find the problem. Then hit the shit out of it.
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