If you’re not a smoker, you’re probably aware of second-hand smoke the moment you walk near it. Its pungent odor can linger long after the cigarette is put out, even in an outside environment.
Now imagine what happens inside a home.
Your gas-forced HVAC system works by cycling air from the unit, through the ductwork, and back down and out of your home. It’s a continual rotation of air, working to keep you comfortable and safe at the same time.
As the air flows, it picks up everything in the air supply. That’s how cooking odors rotate while you’re in the kitchen. It’s also how cigarette smoke can transfer from room to room, and linger long after putting the cigarette out.
Thirdhand smoke involves residual nicotine and other chemicals released from cigarettes, and settling on surfaces throughout your home. You can find it on your clothes, upholstery, drapery, flooring, and other personal items.
What’s worse, this can also settle into your ductwork, and be redistributed every time your equipment operates. It settles into the ducts, registers, and vents, then spreads every time airflow moves back through the system. This can linger for years.
We’re only recently starting to learn about the impact of thirdhand smoke. Yet because we know the residue can linger for years, it’s only natural that your HVAC system is a natural part of keeping the effects moving around your home, impacting every room in your home, every member of your family.
The easiest way to eliminate thirdhand smoke is not to smoke at all. That can be difficult for a long-time smoker. The next best solution is to head outdoors and stay far away from windows and doors, so it doesn’t create backdraft into your home.
Change out furnace filters frequently. Air filters are your first line of defense in keeping particles out of the air supply. It traps contaminants and pulls them out of the air flow. You can buy them in packs and change them easily regularly.
Dust and clean your home frequently. Every time your HVAC equipment is in use, it has the potential for further distributing contaminants to every room in your home. By removing it from your furniture and other personal belongings, it won’t return to the air supply.
Clean your ducts regularly. No matter how many times you dust, some thirdhand particles will always settle into the ductwork. By cleaning the ducts periodically, you’ll remove these particles before they have a chance to return to the airflow.
Have any further questions about cigarette smoke and your HVAC system? Give us a call today.