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jtnippon 08-27-2007 05:28 PM

Question about Cigarette moke and AC venting
Hi, I live with my mom, who is a smoker, and obviously I can't tell her to stop smoking (already tried), and well, she owns the house.

On that note. I'm trying every way humanly possible to prevent smoke, smoke particles, odor, etc from entering the room in which I live in, which is down stairs, sub ground level (NOT a basement).

I have two vents that I put cut-to-fit 90 day filters on from Wal-mart, I leave the doors shut, and I plan on buying a air purifier, I'm eyeing one that was used in China during the SARS outbreak in the hospitals (IQAIR, $795) I am trying to stay away from Ionizers and Ozone models because I don't wan't additional particles floating around in the air.

I noticed the other day we have two large vents in the main upstairs hallway, and noticed they weren't blowing AIR, when the AC was on. I asked her about it and she said it was intake vents or something and so I'm thinking, "Great, the two intake vents are upstairs, what's more is they're right next to the area of the house in which you smoke most."

I didn't think modern AC systems re-circulated air from within the house, this just seems counter-productive of the whole circulation-fresh-air, etc thought of mind in the first place, but if they are in fact pushing upstairs air downstairs, what is the best way to prevent smoke and such from going through my two vents located in my room.

Fortunatly smoke (along with heat and other smells) tend to rise and stay to the upper part of the house, so downstairs really doesn't smell bad, but I know that some how smoke particles are making their way down the venting and into my room.

This really bothers me so if I could get some clarification and help on how to prevent this, I'd greatly appreciate it.

Also: I'd ask her to go smoke outside but she's lazy, and semi-chain smokes so she'd spend a lot of her time outside just to smoke.

Smoking is a nasty, selfish, wasteful, harmful habit and I wish all the tobacoc companies would go under and people would stop smoking. Too bad that won't ever happen.

52Caddy 08-27-2007 09:49 PM

Good luck on that. Contrary to what you think, all AC systems (as far as I know) recirculate air within the house. It's much cheaper to remove heat from drier/cooler air within the house than it is to condition fresh air from the outside. A lot of newer furnaces use some sort of fresh air exchanger into the house.
Wherever she smokes, it's going to make it to the closest return and then get sent out throughout the whole house.
I guess I'm not sure about evaporative cooling systems though, they probably bring in large amounts of outside air.

Mike Swearingen 08-28-2007 12:03 AM

You could probably help your situation with things like Allergy or HEPA filters on those return vents, and custom cut these same type filters for your supply ducts. They will restrict airflow some, but they should help cut down on the second-hand tobacco smoke.
An air purifier in your room is a good idea. Also, Febreze air freshener also should help in your room. That stuff seems to kill odors rather than mix with and cover them up. Also, get yourself an inexpensive oscillating table fan, if you don't have a ceiling fan in your room.
As an old ex-smoker, I can tell you that it is one of the worst addictions on the planet, and it is extremely hard to quit. However, it looks like they're finally going to start taxing tobacco out of sight and severly restricting its use in public places, including outdoor public areas like streets, parks, etc., so that should help the nonsmokers.
I would think that they're going to come up with a magic pill or other treatment that would help smokers like your mother kick it. However, if she doesn't really, really want to quit, then she can't. It takes maximum will power to kick nicotine.
Good luck, until you can relocate out on your on in a more healthy situation that you can control.

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