At NexGen, we understand the importance of good indoor air quality. Smoke is one of the most significant indoor pollutants. There are numerous potential sources, but perhaps none are as prevalent and potentially dangerous as cigarette smoke. Secondhand smoke contains over 7,000 chemicals, hundreds of which are toxic. Even if you or no one in your family uses tobacco, smoke entering your home through vents can be extremely harmful.
Here, we’ll explain how to block smoke from coming through the vents in your home to eliminate exposure and its risks.
Regarding exposure to secondhand smoke, the U.S. Surgeon General issued a report in 2006 that concluded:
The first step is to locate where secondhand smoke is entering from. Air vents are one of the primary entry points. Others include gaps in windows, doors, outlets, insulation, etc. While small gaps can be filled with silicone caulk and larger ones with insulating foam, that doesn’t work with vents. You can’t completely block a vent because that will disrupt airflow, reduce efficiency, and increase the pressure that may damage ducts and cause leaks.
This is an issue because once cigarette smoke enters the system, it will travel through ductwork and come through vents in every room. Fortunately, other options can protect your home against secondhand smoke. These are some steps you can take:
A high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter has a fine mesh that makes it more effective at trapping tobacco smoke as well as pollen, pet dander, and dust mites. Therefore, this mechanical air filter protects against the harmful effects of smoke and can provide allergy relief. It can improve overall indoor air quality and protect your HVAC system against particulates as well.
Smoke and odors may pass through from under any door that opens into a hallway or common area. A door draft excluder easily fits along the bottom of the door. Draft proofing can be accomplished with stuffed plastic bags or by purchasing and fitting a hinged flap or brush-type draft excluder. You can also purchase covers that drop over keyholes and flaps or brushes that cover letterboxes.
A high-quality air purifier is a worthwhile investment. Your HVAC contractor can recommend and even install an air purification system. The best ones eliminate visible smoke and odors. While it may be difficult to block smoke from vents, the air can still be purified so you don’t have to worry about breathing in tobacco smoke.
Bamboo palm, peace lily, philodendron, devil’s ivy, aloe vera, azalea, and chrysanthemum are just a few plants that can remove contaminants from the air. These natural air filters will leave your indoor air fresher. Not to mention create a calming environment in your house.
This is not a permanent solution. If the outdoor air isn’t polluted and it’s a pleasant day, you can open windows to allow in a fresh breeze and filter out stagnant, smoke-filled air. This works best when the AC isn’t running. However, consider other solutions if there’s a lot of car traffic outside your home; you don’t want exhaust on top of tobacco smoke indoors.
NexGen provides many solutions to address indoor air quality issues. We can install high-efficiency filtration systems, improve ventilation, and clean ductwork as well as find custom solutions to improve air quality in your home. Our technicians are fully licensed and trained and provide service throughout Southern California. In addition, our products are warrantied for up to 12 years and financing options are available to make much-needed solutions affordable.