Optimize Airflow

Throughout the cleaning process, and beyond, it’s important to keep air moving throughout your home. That means both air moving around throughout your home, and also air moving in and out of your home. Keeping the air clean as you eliminate cigarette smoke odor throughout your home will help hugely.

Open doors and windows as much as possible.

Open window lets in clean air
Letting clean air in and stale air out is vital. There is still tar and smoke throughout your home releasing the odor, and this will get it out before it has a chance to penetrate other surfaces in your home. Leave windows open as much as the weather will let you throughout the cleaning process.

Consider window fans to maximize air movement.

Typical twin fan window units have two reversible fans This means you can set one to pull fresh air in from outdoors while the other pushes air out. These types of fans are typically available at most retailers in the $20-50 price range. Prices and results do vary a bit, but overall I think that any twin fan window unit will successfully move the air and accomplish the goal. I’ve owned two of these fans in past when living in a home without air conditioning, and was surprised at how effective they can be at moving air.

Use your whole house blower

Open all vents in your home and leave your HVAC blower running. This system is a tool build to circulate all of the air in your home, and now is a perfect time to use it. Using the blower on its own means the fan is running without the furnace or A/C running. You can think of it as a whole house fan.

Spring for Special Furnace Filters

Consider using a odor elimination furnace filter throughout the cleaning process to help eliminate cigarette smoke odor. These filters can cost a little bit more than normal furnace filters, but have special contents aimed at trapping and eliminating odors as air passes through them. While they can be very effective, the odor trapping properties are likely to wear out somewhat quickly, and you may need to replace them every 3 to 4 months if you want to keep the odor absorption aspect of the cleaning at its peak. While this probably isn’t sustainable long term, it may be a worthwhile short term help throughout the cleaning process.

User reviews of such filters can vary. At the time of writing, This 6 pack of Carbon Pleated Air Filters seems to both affordable and have a lot of good reviews.

Open up interior spaces

Open the house up as much as possible. Don’t leave any doors closed unless you have a reason to do so. Let the air move throughout the house.

Find and fix airflow problems

Audit the airflow in your house, and try to identify any spaces which aren’t seeing good air circulation. You often can detect airflow by simply standing still in the room and seeing if you can feel air movement on your skin. Temperature can also be a good indicator that the air isn’t circulating well. If any spaces seem warmer or colder than the rest of the house, they may not be seeing as much air movement.

Beyond that, thinking through the airflow and how each room functions might help you find poorly circulated areas.

  • Do any rooms not have vents bring new air in from your furnace blower?
  • Are there any rooms not have an air return, which recirculates air back to your blower?
  • Do any rooms not have windows or windows that can be opened?

With any rooms you think aren’t seeing strong circulation, supplement with fans to help get the air moving. This reduces nicotine resettling in that room as you eliminate cigarette smoke odor.