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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    53

    Buying a "smokers" house, is the coil and ducts affected?

    My wife and I are intereested in a house that was owned by a heavy smoker; the family painted the house to try to cover it up; I was told by a local HVAC company that the tar could build up on the coil and that duct cleaning may help but the ONLY way to be sure is to tear it all out; before you say that is someone who wants my money the house is in another state(would be a weekend lake house) so they have no dog in this fight as we say down south; the real issue is that my 4 year old has some serious allergies including asthma at times.....thanks! dogdoc

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    68,594
    Doesn't need to be tore out.
    The ducts can have a sealer applied to them. May or may not find a company in that area that does it.
    And the coil can be cleaned.
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    How many times must one fix something before it is fixed?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    77

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Keokuk, IA
    Posts
    5,520
    You'll never completely eliminate the odor. It gets into the insulation in the walls and attic and even into subfloors, and any flooring material. Replacing carpets is a must...just cleaning won't get it out. Paitning helps... especially the ceiling.

    Consider getting a portable HEPA filter unit if you child still seems irritated and place it in his bedroom to run 24-7.

    The solution to solution...is dilution. Over time the odor will go away and only be noticeable on hot days if the house has been closed up.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Plant City, Florida
    Posts
    2,198
    Quote Originally Posted by motoguy128 View Post
    You'll never completely eliminate the odor. It gets into the insulation in the walls and attic and even into subfloors, and any flooring material. Replacing carpets is a must...just cleaning won't get it out. Paitning helps... especially the ceiling.

    Consider getting a portable HEPA filter unit if you child still seems irritated and place it in his bedroom to run 24-7.

    The solution to solution...is dilution. Over time the odor will go away and only be noticeable on hot days if the house has been closed up.
    I thought you weren't an A/C contractor?

    How many units have you dealt with that had smoke related issues?

    When you give advice yoiu should clearly state you are NOT and A/C contractor, as a person may think because you have a high post count that you are.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Plant City, Florida
    Posts
    2,198
    Quote Originally Posted by dogdoc View Post
    My wife and I are intereested in a house that was owned by a heavy smoker; the family painted the house to try to cover it up; I was told by a local HVAC company that the tar could build up on the coil and that duct cleaning may help but the ONLY way to be sure is to tear it all out; before you say that is someone who wants my money the house is in another state(would be a weekend lake house) so they have no dog in this fight as we say down south; the real issue is that my 4 year old has some serious allergies including asthma at times.....thanks! dogdoc
    What you will need to do is pull all the carpet, pad and tack strip, use an enzyme treatment on the subfloor, then seal the subfloor.

    Prime all walls and cieling with a primer like Zinser Bullseye 123, paint the walls and cieling, if the cielings are popcorn, spray in light coats, otherwise the moisture and weight of the new paint and primer will cause the popcorn to fail.

    Rent or buy an Ozone machine (a good one will be about $800)and run it in conjunction with the fan motor for a few days if not longer.

    Then have an A/C contractor come clean the Air Handler, and Evaporator, they may have to cut the coil out and soak it.

    Then seal the interior of the ductwork.

    Then run the ozone machine for a few more days if not weeks.

    The rest of the house will have to be thoroughly cleaned as well.

    It is a lot of work but eventually the smell will go away.

    BTW I am not just a Licensed A/C Contractor I am a Licensed Building Contractor as well and I have had to clean up after heavy smokers.

    I had one unit that was so bad, you could see the yellow nicotine running down the walls.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    997
    Quote Originally Posted by bwalley View Post
    What you will need to do is pull all the carpet, pad and tack strip, use an enzyme treatment on the subfloor, then seal the subfloor.

    Prime all walls and cieling with a primer like Zinser Bullseye 123, paint the walls and cieling, if the cielings are popcorn, spray in light coats, otherwise the moisture and weight of the new paint and primer will cause the popcorn to fail.

    Rent or buy an Ozone machine (a good one will be about $800)and run it in conjunction with the fan motor for a few days if not longer.

    Then have an A/C contractor come clean the Air Handler, and Evaporator, they may have to cut the coil out and soak it.

    Then seal the interior of the ductwork.

    Then run the ozone machine for a few more days if not weeks.

    The rest of the house will have to be thoroughly cleaned as well.

    It is a lot of work but eventually the smell will go away.

    BTW I am not just a Licensed A/C Contractor I am a Licensed Building Contractor as well and I have had to clean up after heavy smokers.

    I had one unit that was so bad, you could see the yellow nicotine running down the walls.
    This is a good plan! It all looks good except for sealing the duct. Have it cleaned buy a good company. If there is any liner in it have that sealed with Foster 40-20. A good Ozone machine will only have to run a day or two. Ozone is dangerous do not be in the home when it is running No pets or people.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Sterling Heights, MI
    Posts
    60
    A ozone machine should not have to be ran for days on end to get what you want done. My home when I got it was super heavy smoker house (6 people 2 packs a day for over 10 years) What I did was first washed all the walls and floors really good. Then I ran the ozone machine for a day in the basement and a day on the main floor. You will need to stay elsewhere wile the ozone machine is running. Then I primed and painted everything and it was fine. The coil was so bad tho you could not see light through it and needed to be cut and cleaned.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Plant City, Florida
    Posts
    2,198
    You can't run an ozone machine too long, 03 breaks down very quickly.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Cedar Grove, Wi-Sheboygan
    Posts
    1,582
    Instead of doing all this work why not look for another house , I'm a smoker in my house and I have a EAC with all my duct work properly sealed and I run my fan 24/7 in the heating season and when it's not too humid I run the fan during the cooling season as well and theres not too much smoke smell. I bet there's more food smell in the house then smoke smell where people will lack the proper ventilation over there range or cook tops and that smell gets into everything just as much as smoke does. But people get so freaked out when they know someone has been or did smoke in a house, but never think of all the other smells, or odors from other more lingering odors from foods and house hold chemicals that were used.

    How about Cats, if the previous HO's had cats or dogs I would put that above anyone who ever smoked in a house and had no pets. I'm just saying !!!!!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Plant City, Florida
    Posts
    2,198
    Quote Originally Posted by DanW13 View Post
    Instead of doing all this work why not look for another house , I'm a smoker in my house and I have a EAC with all my duct work properly sealed and I run my fan 24/7 in the heating season and when it's not too humid I run the fan during the cooling season as well and theres not too much smoke smell. I bet there's more food smell in the house then smoke smell where people will lack the proper ventilation over there range or cook tops and that smell gets into everything just as much as smoke does. But people get so freaked out when they know someone has been or did smoke in a house, but never think of all the other smells, or odors from other more lingering odors from foods and house hold chemicals that were used.

    How about Cats, if the previous HO's had cats or dogs I would put that above anyone who ever smoked in a house and had no pets. I'm just saying !!!!!
    You being a smoker will not be as sensitive to smoke as a non smoker.

    I don't allow anyone to smoke anywhere on the property of my jobs and I can tell when someone lights up a cigarette.

    After my mom quit smoking, she told me she never realized how bad it smelled while she was a smoker.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Office and warehouse in both Crystal River & New Port Richey ,FL
    Posts
    18,836
    Ozone generator,7 days,fan running.

    Stay out of the house,while running it.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Cedar Grove, Wi-Sheboygan
    Posts
    1,582
    Cat urine and dog urine is a hell of lot worse then smoke try getting rid of those 2 odors,kids dropping candy and food down the duct work, there's a million items that are far worse to get rid of.

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