Does an Air Duct Cleaning Remove Cigarette Smoke?


A clean and well-maintained heating and cooling system is vital to keeping the family safe and comfortable. Indoor air pollution is a pressing issue that worries various homeowners, especially the households with active smokers. 

Passive smoking is a health hazard

Cigarette smoking is harmful and unhealthy for the smoker and the other people sharing the same home space. It is impossible to confine cigarette smoke to only the room where a person smokes, even with the doors shut. Environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) or secondhand smoke is a major indoor pollutant, and cigarette smoke travels through different home areas via doors, windows, and cracks, putting other people at equal risk. The smoke contains harmful compounds and is hazardous for people with allergies and asthma. 

Smoking and the HVAC system

Homes with smokers always have a lingering smell, and the dust in the house environment has remnants of the smoke suspended in the air while smoking. The dust contains all the carcinogens and cancer-causing compounds. Air ducts are a home’s lungs. As cigarette smoke moves throughout the house, it also travels through the air ducts. 

The heating and cooling system then circulates the cigarette smoke to every room in the house. The contaminants are continuously pulled into the system and are re-circulated every time the air passes through the system. It increases indoor pollution and forces everyone in the home and the guests to continuously breathe secondhand smoke, unknowingly exposing them to all the ill effects of smoking. 

The constant re-circulation of these hazardous compounds leaves sticky and oily tar and nicotine residue in the air ducts. It also accelerates the build-up of dirt, dust, debris, and other pollutants. 

In apartments and condos with interconnected air vents, a smoker also exposes the neighbors to smoking hazards. Smelling tobacco when the system turns on and noticing yellow stains on various home surfaces like walls, ceilings, and furniture is a clear warning sign of build-up and residue in the ductwork. These residues are tough to remove with regular cleaning. 

Air duct cleaning removes cigarette smoke

Consider getting professional duct cleaning if someone in the house smokes or you recently moved into a new home where the previous owner or tenants were smokers. Air duct cleaning ensures the complete elimination of cigarette smoke residue and the other contaminants from the system. 

Duct cleaning significantly improves your indoor air quality by circulating clean, fresh, and healthy air and is of excellent help to people who wish to quit smoking. Clean air ducts offer protection from cancerous compounds and other respiratory complications and improve system efficiency, leading to savings on monthly energy bills.

It may be best to hire a professional duct cleaning company as nicotine is sticky and hard to clean from the system. Experienced professionals also use specialized treatment to sanitize the ducts that remove the lingering odor settled over time. They use an intensive approach to remove toxins and chemicals from the ductwork and the home. 

Keep your ducts clean

We recommend that you clean the air ducts once every three or five years. A home with smokers should consider hiring professionals more frequently to ensure better health and safety of the family.


Mr. Duct Cleaning offers air duct services, including cleaning, repair, and replacement. We provide air duct sealing, dryer vent cleaning, and furnace cleaning services, too! Our Metro Phoenix, Gilbert, Scottsdale, Tempe, Mesa, and Queen Creek residential and commercial customers can call us at (480)254-5980 today!