mouse house in the furnace exhaust
We went up to the in-laws' summer camp in central maine yesterday to open it up. We turned on the furnace (which runs on propane) and 2 or 3 minutes later I opened the front door and smelled a horrible burning smell. Shut off the furnace and found some fur just inside the exhaust pipe outside the house. So we assume there's a mouse house in there somewhere. There was a lot of vapor coming from the exhaust, so I don't think it's actually blocked.
Called the furnace company and the guy couldn't guarantee when he could get there but suggested that we pull the exhaust pipe apart in the basement to see what's in there. The pipe comes into the house a foot or two, then elbows down about 5 feet, then elbows over a foot or so into the furnace. The drop down part has about 5 sections, each secured by stainless straps and then sealed by red silicone. We asked him about reinstalling the sections without the red silicone and he thought it would be alright, but I was very worried about the potential for CO poisoning and I hadn't brought the CO monitors.
My husband considered running it again for a few more minutes to see if whatever is there would burn itself out, but I assumed that meant basically creating a fire in the pipe and I didn't want to burn the camp down.
So does anyone think this is a DIY project? And any suggestions about how to prevent this in the future? There was a TON of snow this year so I'm wondering if the critters didn't have a direct line from the snow banks right to the vent...
Thanks for any input.