cfdavid

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Wasn't exactly sure where to post this, but I'm curious if anyone has any experience with air filters/purifiers that can help get rid of cigarette smoke/residue.

I just moved into an upper flat of a duplex house. On my previous 3 trips to the unit, I didn't notice any bad smell of any kind. And certainly not a smoke smell. But, during my move (yeah, I already signed the lease) today, the place reeked of cigarette smoke. Apparently the woman downstairs smokes.

It's not like I'm seeing vapors or anything. But, any non-smoker knows what I mean. It's just a general smokey smell. So, the question is, does anyone have any experience with a good filtration system to clean up the air???
Also, any good air "fresheners" to use in the short term?

Any insight is appreciated.

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lord_jeebus

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I got a Vornado HEPA air filter to deal with dust and it works really well. It has a charcoal prefilter that's supposed to deal with unfilterable (nonparticulate) odors as well.

Such a filter should be able to circulate all the air in a room several times in an hour so you won't need anything "short term" before the air gets clean. However if the problem is coming from downstairs you will need to leave it running all the time because it really can only clean one room's air and smoke will keep coming up from the smoky source.
 
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cfdavid

cfdavid

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lord_jeebus said:
I got a Vornado HEPA air filter to deal with dust and it works really well. It has a charcoal prefilter that's supposed to deal with unfilterable (nonparticulate) odors as well.

Such a filter should be able to circulate all the air in a room several times in an hour so you won't need anything "short term" before the air gets clean. However if the problem is coming from downstairs you will need to leave it running all the time because it really can only clean one room's air and smoke will keep coming up from the smoky source.
Thanks for the feedback. I've since done some research, and you're right in that a carbon (charcoal) filter must be included to get the smoke and odors.

The only other way is to use an ozone generator, but those are somewhat controversial for obvious reasons.
 
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DrHans

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I agree with the poster. You have to look at the amount of sq ft the filter will cover (enough to cover your main room) as well as the number of times it will change the air over per hour. If the smoke is really bad you might consider two filters, one for the main room and one for your bedroom. I sympathize with you.
 
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cfdavid

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DrHans said:
I agree with the poster. You have to look at the amount of sq ft the filter will cover (enough to cover your main room) as well as the number of times it will change the air over per hour. If the smoke is really bad you might consider two filters, one for the main room and one for your bedroom. I sympathize with you.
Yeah, I may buy another mini-heppa (with carbon pre-filter) for my bedroom. I have a medium size one for the main room currently.

What's happening is that, since we share a common HVAC system, the inlet vents are pulling/sucking air from her smoky room, going through a crummy/inadequate furnace filter and then pushing through to the "outlet" vents in my room (and hers). So, when she runs the central air conditioner (and in the winter, the furnace) the air comes out cool but stinking like smoke.

I had the landlord over today and they put a high efficiency, low particulate, filter into the furnace. So, over time, this should help clean up the air in general (even her air). Then, for secondary measures, I cut out individual carbon filter sheets plus a non-carbon filter sheet and taped them to the back side of my vents. This will decrease the flow a bit, but should help.

Then there's the heppa, which I'm running for a 24 hour period. I'm not moved in permanently yet, so we'll see if this works. I really like the area and the flat, but the smoke thing is a deal breaker if this situation doesn't improve very soon.

Thanks again for the input.
 

DNAroolez

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it sounds like you are doing everything right. i have a lot of experience with this since my family has a lot of smokers and i had to live in the house with them while i have asthma. also dont forget if you have carpet to give it a good cleaning too. you can rent out a steam vac or even buy a small one. a lot of people including myself are allergic to tobacco particles, so if you clean them out of the carpet that will help a lot too. also make sure you spring for a vacuum with a hepa filter.

oh, and febreeze is a lifesaver.
 
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cfdavid

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DNAroolez said:
it sounds like you are doing everything right. i have a lot of experience with this since my family has a lot of smokers and i had to live in the house with them while i have asthma. also dont forget if you have carpet to give it a good cleaning too. you can rent out a steam vac or even buy a small one. a lot of people including myself are allergic to tobacco particles, so if you clean them out of the carpet that will help a lot too. also make sure you spring for a vacuum with a hepa filter.

oh, and febreeze is a lifesaver.
My big concern is that I don't want to cover anything up. I also don't want to get "used" to anything. I know how easy it is to get used to that kind of thing, but in the meantime your lungs suffer. That's why I'm so adimant about truly blocking out the source.

However, I'm not that confident that my measures will be sufficient since this chick seems to be a chain smoker downstairs. The amount of contaminated air coming out of the vent when the airconditioner was running yesterday was horrid. I'm really bummed about it too because I was there for about 4 hours yesterday doing miscellaneous things (including retrofitting my vents etc.) and I already felt my lungs and trachea agitated last night. I was even coughing a bit. And I swear it's not all in my head. Could I "adapt"? Ofcourse, but why should we have to. I WILL break my lease (they can take action if they want) if I can't truly clean up the air.

I know it sounds whiny, but it's a big thing with me. I'm just really sensitive to it. I empathize hugely with your situation growing up.
 

ZAZA67401

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Move! Most states let you break contracts within 72 hrs on major things. I am sure you can get out anyway, you may loose your security deposit but it sounds like it would be worth it. I say move!
 
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