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Question DetailsAsked on 5/23/2015

my ducts smell from cigarette smoke - is cleaning enough or should they be replaced

I have bought a house and when the AC or heat is on you can smell the cigarette smoke from the previous owner. The home inspection shows the ducts are dirty from the cigarettes. He recommended replacing the ducts but in talking with other people they say having them professionally cleaned should be sufficient. I was hoping you could give me an opinion on this.

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1 Answer


Generally, most (but not all) of the smell can be removed by cleaning including ozone treatment. You need to clean both supply and return ducts and of course replace the filter(s). The A/C evaporator should also be cleaned (usually an HVAC technician job rather than a Duct Cleaner job) because a lot of smoke particles will have built up on there, and smell more because when the A/C is running is kept damp so it smells more. You could even try that first (maybe combined with an overall system cleaning/servicing if that was not recently done) and see how much that helps, then decide if you want to also get the ducts done.

However, you will pretty much never get ALL the smoke smell out of a house - some people like me would never even consider buying a home that previously had smokers, others can tolerate or do not even notice a bit of the odor.

Answered 5 years ago by LCD

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