Removing Smoke Smell from Duplex?


We are moving into a lower level duplex, the upstairs tenants are heavy smokers and moved out from the lower level a few days ago. I will deep clean the carpets and walls to get the smell out of the lower level, but am concerned about the continuing tobacco smoke from above, or the air ducts.


I am not sure how to clean. Will my cleaning will be null and void because of the continuous smoking from up above?

Anya from MN

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By Candace (Guest Post)
January 7, 20081 found this helpful
Best Answer

I would think that your air ducting wouldn't be connected, but if it is, I wouldn't know what to do, maybe consider special filters. If it is not connected, the best way to get that smoke smell out is to paint your ceilings/walls, clean carpets and a/c filter, and if someone-landlord could clean the a/c unit/ducts
it would be great. Ask the landlord prior to moving in if the units are connected by airduct-I know I couldn't live like that with 3 people with asthma in my family.

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Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 188 Feedbacks
January 9, 20081 found this helpful
Best Answer

You have to get the air ducts professionally cleaned or removed. Nicotine has a tar like substance that comes out in the smoke, it will stick to anything! I remember when my parents used to smoke in the house (a LONG time ago) it wasn't until my Mom saw the brown drips on the bathroom walls (the tar stuff) did she realize how gross it was and how bad it was for me and my sister (go figure, I stopped having strep throat after that!).

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January 10, 20081 found this helpful
Best Answer

Honestly, I don't think you can get smoke out of an apartment. I lived in one like that for two years and every single time I was out (at church, at my parents' house) I could smell smoke on my clothes. It positively emanated from me and it was awful.


Personally, as a nonsmoker, I would not rent a place that had had smokers, and as a landlord now, I won't rent to a smoker because if they smoke in the house, it wrecks it.

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January 7, 20081 found this helpful

I have this problem with my neighbor next store. We are currently renting a townhouse this year until we find a home here in town. We moved recently and it kills me the smoke, they smoke all day! I tried to no avail. I gave up and I just bought the glade wall plug-in oil units. I put in all rooms and keep them refilled 1 time a month. It helps. I use the summer berries one. It is best. Once that is in walls and pads of carpet, it cant be gotten rid of! Sorry.

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Silver Feedback Medal for All Time! 472 Feedbacks
January 10, 20081 found this helpful

Smoke permeates the wood in the walls, the floors, the drywall board, carpet, and everything. And yes, it gets into airducts.


If it smells bad contact the landlord immediately, it will give you a legal reason to break the contract.

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January 14, 20081 found this helpful

Thanks for all the feedback, We are here and are "smoked out" regularly!

The Landlord knows, don't think he would want to change anything, he knows the people upstairs are "smokers" they were down here smokers first.

We bought 3 Windchaser Ionic Air Purifiers and some electrostatic duct filters, the purifies seem to clean out the air throughout the night and during the day when there is no active smoke coming through. When they are home and smoking, the residual smell still comes through the air ducts. The duct work is connected in this home. So I close the vents, then its really cold.


So we will buy some type of room heater.

We are also going to try the Hepa filter in the duct work,
but there is no way to stop the smoke from coming in when the heat blows.

Also looking into a bigger better more powerful ion air purifier when we have the funds.

My lips tingle when the smoke starts to come, so I know to close the vents! fun!

Its a nice home, except for the smoke. I will never again
rent a duplex with a smoker or move into a place that had
smokers. This place will just be for a time.

Thanks again! for all your suggestions here and on all the other smoking threads.


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January 15, 20081 found this helpful

white vinegar white vinegar baking soda baking soda i'm a smoker

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