HVAC and a Cigarette Pack
Before we get into the topic of how smoking inside affects your indoor air quality and your air conditioning system, let’s get the PSA out of the way right away: Smoking is a nasty habit and it’s bad for your health. Everybody knows this, especially people who smoke. Super Heat & Air does not condone smoking in any way. But we’re also not judgmental toward people who choose to smoke. It’s a personal choice and we will not pass judgment here.
Take It Outside
Now that we got that out of the way, let’s get down to business. The first thing we should mention is that if you choose to smoke, you should never smoke indoors. It’s really not that hard people: if you’re going to smoke, take it outside! This post is not intended to lecture anyone about the dangers of smoking. The folks at Tobacco Free Florida do a fantastic job of creating awareness. So we’ll stick to the topic at hand about how smoking affects indoor air quality and your AC system. We’re not doctors, so we’re not going to talk about lung cancer or any other diseases that tobacco causes. We just want you to breathe cleaner indoor air! So let’s get to it …
Tobacco smoke — especially from cigarettes — and what it leaves behind can cause headaches and allergic reactions to some. And while the smell of cigarette smoke lingers on people for a while, it lingers even longer inside your home. If you’ve been to a bar where indoor smoking is allowed, you know that tobacco smell stays on your clothes, your skin and your hair even if you weren’t smoking. Now imagine that “smoky dive bar” smell in your home! All day, every day!
Tobacco smoke residue lingers within the dust inside your home too. That means that dust floating around your house collects the dangerous contaminants found in cigarettes from the smoke and ashes after somebody smokes in it. And as you already know dust sticks to your walls, furniture, ceiling fans and … pretty much everything inside your house! So even if you don’t smoke, you should never let anyone else smoke inside your home. (Spoiler alert: we’re going to repeat this again).
Even if you’re not a perpetrator of smoking indoors, anybody in a neighboring unit could be polluting your air ducts with secondhand smoke. You should find out if you have neighbors who are smoking indoors, as HVAC systems in apartment complexes are sometimes linked together. If you have neighbors who light up within your vicinity, tobacco smoke could enter your home and you could feel the effects of it.
If your complex has shared HVAC, plumbing or electrical systems between units, the smoke could be seeping in through openings. Your neighbor’s pesky indoor smoke could be ruining your indoor air quality (and potentially your health). So find out if there are any openings you can caulk or seal where the smoke or the odor it leaves behind might find its way into your dwelling.
Here are some other ways to help alleviate the effects of tobacco smoke on your indoor air:
Sanitize and purify. Air sanitizers chemically eat away at odors and help get rid of the lingering stench cigarette smoke leaves behind. If you’re not comfortable using chemicals, try using natural baking soda or other “green-friendly” air sanitizing products. Air purifiers are also a wise investment.
Shameless plug alert. The contaminants from smoking indoors can dirty up your ducts. If you read our blog, you know you will never hear the end of how important it is to get your ducts cleaned! You also know we shamelessly plug our services in our blog posts, and we’ll make no exception here: schedule an appointment with Super Heat & Air to get your ducts cleaned! Feel free to mention this ad when you call us at (813) 355-0288 for $100 off your duct cleaning service:
It’s common sense but: do some cleaning! Seriously, clean your house. As we already mentioned, the contaminants in tobacco smoke and ashes from smoking indoors linger in the dust in your home. So make sure you vacuum your house thoroughly and dust it regularly.
Redundancy alert: Don’t smoke indoors! If for whatever reason you or yours can’t or don’t want to step outside to smoke, open your windows, let some fresh air inside and puff the smoke to the outside. Also turn off your AC while the windows are open. And if you have screens on your windows, remove them if possible before lighting up to avoid having the cigarette contaminants stick to them.
Tobacco is a plant. So combat it with a plant! Fight flora with flora. We mentioned green-friendly air sanitizers, and no air sanitize is greener or friendlier than a plant. Plants are pretty to look at and accentuate your home nicely. But they also do a fine job of being natural air sanitizers that improve your indoor air quality. Certain types of plants are known to absorb air pollutants — including tobacco smoke — more effectively than others. So do a little bit of research and get some flora!
Light em up! No no, not your cigarettes: Ultraviolet lights! Modern AC systems can be installed with UV lights (we do that, by the way) to purify your air by removing allergens, odors, viruses and air pollutants such as … come on if you’ve read this far, you know what else! UV lights are typically installed in air ducts and are known to be effective weapons for fighting contaminants. Ask us about installing UV lights in your AC system.
In conclusion: Smoking is bad. But if you do choose to smoke, then don’t smoke indoors! It’s that simple. And if the nasty effects of indoor smoking are already present in your home, call Super Heat & Air. We’ll help you improve your indoor air quality, sanitize your air and combat the effects smoking indoors has left in your home.
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