Air Conditioners

Should You Smoke in an Air-Conditioned Room?

moke in an Air-Conditioned Room

Almost everyone is aware of the effect of smoking cigarettes, including how it affects their health negatively. And since most people prefer smoking at the comfort of their home while directing the smoke to the air conditioner, they are left with the question, is it okay to smoke in an air-conditioned room?

Well! NO! Even though air conditioners come with air filters designed to better the indoor air quality, pollutants are released when smoking a cigarette substantial. It coats the air conditioner filter with residue rapidly, thus requiring changing quite often. The AC system could distribute dangerous secondhand smoke to the other rooms.

Understanding how the AC works and what to do to improve the air cleaning in the room can help you enjoy your smoking without worrying about damaging your AC or affecting other people in the building. This post gives you reasons to avoid smoking in an air-conditioned room, how smoke affects an AC and what to do to remove any smoke residue in your room. Read along!

Why Should You Avoid Smoking in an Air-Conditioned Room?

It’s not okay to smoke in an air-conditioned room because there is a lot quite at stake if you do. When you smoke in such a room, the air conditioner pulls most of the cigarette residue in the smoke. What you didn’t know is smoking can also damage your home.

Smoking in an air-conditioned room can result in reduced efficiency, increased repair cost, and decreased lifespan. What’s more, a conventional air conditioner system will remove the large smoke particles. However, it doesn’t filter the smaller polluting particles or the gas in secondhand smoke.

And because the same unit cannot control secondhand smoke exposure, it cannot help purify the air. What’s worse, it might even distribute the secondhand smoke to other parts of the building.

Reduced Filter Lifespan

According to research, a single cigarette can release 6-18-milligram nicotine particulates, quite a lot considering its small size.

With the purpose of an air conditioner filter being to filter dirt and debris from entering the unit and cause problems, you have to change it at least once a month.

If you smoke in an air-conditioned room, the frequency of changing the filters shortens. The cigarette smoke particulates not only enter your lungs, but you also release them into the air, where they mix with pet dander, dust, and other particles.

When the AC filter picks up these pollutants, they start to fill up rapidly. Because of this, you’re required to clean or change it as often as possible.

Failure to do so could cause clogging that can reduce the airflow, lower air quality, and lead to a set of problems for your AC unit, forcing it to work harder and longer.

Its cooling performance might reduce. After some time, the unit’s cooling coil might freeze, or the compressor might break down. Before you know it, you need to repair it or replace these parts.

And you know what? A clogged filter can cause the unit to overheat and eventually break down. The worst is, the cost of repairs might be as high as $4,000.

Chemical Buildup

According to the American Lung Association, when a person smokes one cigarette, about 600 ingredients and more than 7,000 chemicals are produced.

As I mentioned earlier, even though the air conditioner filter can clean out some of the chemicals, it won’t catch them all.

That means some chemicals will pass through the filter, with the next stop being insider the air conditioner.

Tar and nicotine are some of the sticky chemicals prone to attracting dust and sticking to them. That would mean they increase dirt accumulation inside the AC unit quite fast while reducing the interior components’ efficiency.

The only solution here is to take apart the air conditioner and clean its interior regularly. Doing so can increase the unit’s efficiency and while also eliminating stale smoke smell inside it.

How to Get Rid of Cigarette Smell in an Air-conditioned Room

Maybe you didn’t know the effects of smoking in an air-conditioned room until today. If that’s the case and repeatedly smoked indoors, you will want to cleanse the air and improve its quality.

Here are some of the steps you can take to remove the cigarette smoke that might have settled in your room.

Use HEPA Filters

Until now, there is no AC filter for cigarette smoke. If you don’t plan to quit smoking, it’d be best to reduce the pollution that cigarette smoke causes. You do this by installing HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filters on your air conditioner unit.

HEPA filters can trap air pollutants that most of the other air filters can’t catch. Among the many pollutants cleaned are some but not all tobacco pollutants.

But you should note, these filters are expensive and highly fragile. It’d be best to install them with care if you’re unsure how; contacting an HVAC professional would be the best move.

Get an Air Purifier

Cigarette smoke is highly toxic, and no air purifier can help eliminate the harmful pollutants from the room air.

However, it can help remove the visible smoke and also reduce the harsh cigarette odor. So, it can be superficially helpful.

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You can decide to invest in an air purifier with a HEPA filter to improve the filtration and efficiency.

Open the Windows

Keeping the door open for some time can help get rid of the tar-filled air, but this is only a temporal fix. When fresh air enters the room, it will displace the stagnant air and all the pollutants it contains.

It’d be best to leave the windows open as long as you can. Please don’t run the AC while they are open as that will only waste your electricity.

Use Houseplants

Besides allowing fresh air into your room, you could get houseplants to act as natural air filters. They can help remove the cigarette pollutants.

A study conducted by NASA to determine plants that can absorb air toxin discovered philodendron, peace lily, bamboo palm, ficus, and other species were excellent at removing air pollutants.

Give Your Regular AC Maintenance

You don’t have to be smoking in your air-conditioned room so that you can give your AC unit regular maintenance. It’s something you should do at least once a month.

But if you smoke, that AC unit and air ducts will get filled with more pollutants. It’d be a must to maintain the air conditioner and the air ducts more often than before, maybe even weekly, depending on your smoking.

Suppose you can’t do it, schedule maintenance checks and hire a licensed HVAC technician to come and maintain the system. A professional can also advise you on when to change the filter depending on the debris found inside.

Option for Smoking inside an Air-conditioned Room

If quitting smoking is an option for you and you found it convenient to smoke inside your room or a smoking room, you could try out an electric cigarette.

These cigarettes can provide you with the needed nicotine and not produce harmful smoke. The water vapor they produce doesn’t stick to things as the cigarette does.

That means your air conditioner efficiency won’t be affected, and you won’t have to change the AC filters as often as you would if you were smoking regular cigarettes.

Related Questions

Does cigarette smoke rise or fall?

Tobacco smoke coming from a cigarette has a higher temperature than the air surrounding it meaning it has a low density making it rise. However, it does cool down rapidly, which means its density becomes higher than that of air. It now starts to descend

Is there a device that can detect cigarette smoke?

The Puff Alert cigarette smoke detector & alarms is a high-sensitivity detector based on photoelectric technology, which senses cigarette, cigar, and pipe tobacco smoke at an early stage and warns using a buzzer and a red light-emitting diode.

Yes. You can use cigarette smoke detectors. Some use high-sensitive detectors that use photoelectric technology to sent the cigarette, pipe, and cigar tobacco smoke even at an early age. Those with an alarm can warn you with a sound, buzzer, or LED light.

Try Not To Smoke Inside an Air-conditioned Room

Smoking in an air-conditioned room will not only reduce the AC efficiency and increase your maintenance routine, but you could also be affecting other people in the building. The air conditioner could be distributing the secondhand smoke through the air duct. The best preventive measure here is quitting or avoiding, if you’ve not started, smoking in your home.

About the author

Sharif Hasan

I am Sharif a data-driven marketer by profession and run The Spruce Air. I am very interested in keeping good-quality air inside of my home. Besides, I love to share my air-related knowledge through my website.

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