Suggestion for Cigarette Smoke

FlowerkittyOctober 7, 2005

I notice that many posters here have problems with cigarette smoke. I can't stop smokers from smoking, but here is something I tested thoroughly that reduces smoke.

Although ionizers knock smoke out to various degress, to me they leave an'ionized funky smoke smell' in the air that hits when you walk in. They may also build up small traces of smoke particles on your wall, depending on how good their collector plates are. If you have an ionizer with a bad collector plate the buildup on the walls is subtle, but the particles bind like superglue. Once when I was moving I found a grey outline on the wall every place I removed a picture. That outline could not be washed off, it had become part of the paint.

I used a trick I saw on HGTV. Get a 20 inch box fan. The older models are better than new models in the stores because the old models are quieter and move less air. The newer models sound like jet planes and move so much air it can be irritating. THe good part, there are millions of the old box fans in garages and basements all over the country.

Buy the Allergen Filtrete 1000 furnace filter by 3M in the red and white wrapper. Use masking tape, or duct tape to tape the filter sealing the edge completely to the back of the fan, so the air is pulled thru the filter. If you attach the filter to the front of the fan very little air will pass through, and it puts a bad load on the motor. Run the fan on low 24 hrs.

I have tested every model of filter. Only the Filtrete 1000 works. If you have cigarette smoke the 1000 rapidly turns grey, then coal black. Other Filtrete filters including the 700 model, or the 1200 utlra model stay white no matter how long you use them. The 1200 is supposed to be the top of the line, but it does not have the affinity for smoke particles like the 1000. I can buy the 1000 at Target, or Sears Home Hardware. Walmarts does not carry the 1000. You can also get them on the net cheaper in quantity.

I have also tried other companies' furnace filters and non of them turn black like the filtrete 1000. I am running a fan as I write this post. If I turn the fan off for a day my husband starts coughing, and we don't have a cigarette smoke problem anymore, although we get wood smoke from neighbors' fireplaces.

The fan works better than putting the filtrete on your forced air furnace, because the fan can be run 24 hours, and moved room to room. A box fan runs cheaper than a furnace fan too. I keep a Filtrete 700 on my furnace, to reduce load and extend life of furnace fan, but run a 1000 filter on the box fan.

Try it. When you see how black it gets it will make you sick to your stomach, not to mention the fuzzy dust clogs.

Here is a link that might be useful: filtrete 1000

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Thanks v. much for the interesting suggestion. Do these filters also help with smell (ugh) or just the health aspect? Many thanks.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2005 at 9:29AM
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They actually reduce the smell a lot but don't eliminate it. You can never keep ahead of new smoke coming in. This is subjective but to me it is about 80 percent better in terms of smell. But boy if I turn off the fan for a day we can't take it. Once we got used to the fan it seems like we can't breathe without it. And that smell from cigarette smoke builds up on fabrics fast without the filter.

I forgot to add that 3M says the Filtrete lasts about 3 months. For us, a filter lasted about 4 weeks before it was black as coal and clogged with a mass of dust. You could tell it was spent because you would start to notice the cigarette scent again, and the fan would become louder due to the load. Putting in a new filter made a fast improvement in the smell.

In our current home we have wood smoke as everyone burns their yard waste, and we have a tree removal business up the street that burns waste at night. I don't hate the smell but it is very hard to breathe and the filtrete is a lifesaver.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2005 at 11:42AM
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Hi Flowerkitty--I know this is an old post but I came across it when doing a Google search for an air filter system that could filter cigarette smoke. It sounds to me that the system you propose involves a fan, presumably in front of a window, etc.? If this is the case, what about winter when we have to shut out the cold three months of the year? I went to that link you gave and inquired about those Austin systems from IAQ.

I am a non-smoker who lives in a small house with my mother who is a "very heavy" smoker (c. 5 packs/day) and my father who is a non-smoker as well. As you can imagine, there is a tremendous amount of polluted air caused by second hand cigarette smoke.

Basically, we need something that is designed for continuous use in their bedroom (and given that the windows can not be opened in winter). I know there probably isn't a "filterless" system that would work (if so, please let me know that too). We need something that is designed to pretty much "suck" the cigarette smoke out of the air. What is your suggestion? Thanks, Ron

    Bookmark   October 7, 2007 at 1:35PM
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Ronsweet, the instructions clearly say to use the fan and filter to clean the air in your home, not to clean the outside air comking in, (although that could be done too with the set up).

Just build one of these set-ups, and put it in the BR, and plug it in. Easy. Remember to change the filer as needed.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2007 at 3:21AM
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I tried this and you are not exaggerating when you say how dirty this filter gets quickly. Four cigarettes and the filter is grey.
But you no longer have to duct tape a filter to a fan. Lasko makes a 20" fan that will accomodate this 3M or any other major brand filter. The fan (Lasko Model 3900) is designed to handle the load a filter puts on a fan motor. Duct taping a filter to a low load fan will eventually burn out the motor, as Lasko told me anyway. Link to the Lasko fan provided if you care to check it out.

Here is a link that might be useful: Lasko Fan with Filter Frame

    Bookmark   April 22, 2009 at 1:10PM
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My suggestion is not to allow smoking in your apartment. That is the step that I have taken. I have placed buckets of sand on the patio and in front. This is the only way to keep the smell of smoke out of your house.

I like the fan idea just to try and keep the air clean. I thing I will try this just to see what else might be floating around in the air that I breath.

Thanks for the hint

    Bookmark   April 24, 2009 at 6:24AM
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