Smoke in the home is one of the biggest health issues you can have indoors. While cigarette smoke in the house is becoming less and less frequent, it’s still an issue. And it’s not just related to cigarettes, as wildfire smoke is now becoming an increasing problem.
To combat this issue, you need the best air purifiers for smoke. But first, you need to understand why it is an issue and what steps you can take to solve the problem.
The Dangers of Cigarette Smoke
It’s hard to believe that as little as 40 years ago, virtually everyone smoked. Cigarettes, cigars, and tobacco pipes were a common sight in restaurants, offices, and living rooms. Even in tight, enclosed spaces like air planes, smoking was allowed. Now, we have recognized smoke as a major health hazards, one that causes numerous issues to not only the smoker, but to people nearby.
We all know smoking is bad, but does everyone realize the consequences of lingering smoke?
According to the Cleveland Clinic, thirdhand smoke is a cause of numerous health concerns. Thirdhand smoke is the residual chemicals lingering on surfaces even when smoke is no longer floating in the air can create problems for our lungs, heart, and overall well-being.
Like first and secondhand smoke, thirdhand smoke is linked to cancer. There is mounting research connecting cancer cases to thirdhand smoke, as more people are being diagnosed with the disease despite having little or no contact with first or secondhand smoke.
There is also a concern that residual smoke particles could react with particles in the air to create multiple health hazards. In 2010, there was actually a study that found that particles of nicotine could be reacting with other chemicals to create dangerous health situations for many people. This study discovered that carcinogens were actually being created by this reaction, which should be a serious concern for all people who smoke.
In almost all cases, children are the ones who are most at risk from the harmful effects of smoke in the air and residue from smoke on surfaces. Smoke can cling to flooring and carpet where children play, and can even land on their toys, toys that for little children often go in the mouth. Young children who frequently touch objects with their hands and mouths can be exposed to a dangerous amount of chemicals, increasing the chances of health concerns.
To make it even more of a concern, there is the basic fact that removing smoke can be extremely difficult. Thirdhand smoke is able to build up over time, in amounts that are barely noticed by smokers and people who live in the home. Smoke often holds on against typical cleaning methods, so you need a comprehensive strategy, which should include a top-quality air purifier for smoke.
Dangers of Wildfire Smoke
If you think of wildfires, you probably imagine dramatic television images of burning neighborhoods and smoldering woodlands. While material destruction is certainly a concern for anyone who lives near wildfire-prone areas, it’s not the only issue. In fact, there are many problems that come from the smoke created by wildfires, and they can be just as serious to our lung health, especially for people with chronic breathing issues.
Of course, not everyone has the same sensitivity to wildfire smoke, but it’s still important to understand this problem. When smoke is heavy, it affects everyone, so we all need to comprehend the problem of smoke smell.
Because smoke is made of a mixture of fine particles that are produced when wood and organic materials burn, the most significant health concern from smoke are fine particulates. These are microscopic particles that can penetrate deep into your lungs and create a wide variety of issues. They can also create issues closer to the surface, such as a runny noses and irritated eyes.
Wildfire smoke is a major concern for people who have heart or lung disease. This is because the tiny particles in smoke can actually be inhaled, and some are so small that they can work their way into the blood stream. When this occurs, there can be numerous problems, including heart disease, chest pain, lung disease, and the creation of asthma symptoms. Older adults are especially vulnerable, which may be due, at least in part, to their increased risk of heart and lung disease.
Like older adults, children are also vulnerable to the health impacts of wildfire smoke. Children’s airways are still developing, and they will breathe more air per body mass than fully-grown individuals. Children also tend to spend more time outdoors, increasing their exposure to wildfire smoke.
Best Air Purifiers for Smoke Removal
The Mod+ air purifier is capable of cleaning an area measuring 1,316 square feet with 2 air changes per hour. This means it has the ability to clean bedrooms, offices, living rooms, and even large living areas. Using a high efficiency air filter, this air purifier traps the microscopic particles that create the smell, as well as the dangers, of lingering smoke.
The Mod+ has easy to use touch screen adjustments which give you access to the exact air flow that you prefer by just sliding your finger to however little or much air flow you desire. There are no distracting lights to cause confusion or keep you up at night, and the user interface was designed with the intention of allowing anyone to effectively use the machine. The filter access is also simple and easy, and you don’t need the manual every time you want to make adjustments.
Best of all, it is extremely quiet, allowing you to use the purifier in bedrooms and offices. At the lowest settings, it is practically silent; even at higher speeds, it is much quieter than other high-end air purifiers and is similar to white noise.
Activated carbon is an important material for the removal of gas from the air, which is essential to smoke removal. Carbon, however, does not work extremely well in humid environments, so we developed proprietary treatments that bring better filtration to the purifier.
We strongly believe that the air you breathe is one of the most important aspect of overall wellbeing, so we have made sure to develop systems that effectively remove the bad smell of smoke as well as the accompanying health hazards. This is why it’s one of the best air purifiers for smoke.
The Mod+ is an extension of that commitment. It has one combination filter that uses a mesh pre-filter, HEPA filter based media that is pleated, and activated carbon. Used in combination, this results in effective removal of smoke, as well as other chemicals such as methane gas and sulfur gasses.
The Mod+ is effective in almost any place, but we suggest placing the purifier in the room where you spend the most time. That way you will consistently breath air that has been cleaned by the purifier. For these reasons and more, the Mod+ is one of the best air purifiers for smoke.
Additional Ways to Remove Smoke from Your HomeWhile the best air purifiers for smoke are important, there are other ways to enhance the removal of smoke odors, mold spores, and other issues. When you have a smoky smell in your home, it can seem like getting rid of it will be impossible. However, if you use these handy little tips, having clean air, with no smoke smell, may come faster than you think.
Fresh AirSometimes that best answers are the most simple. If you want to take a serious dent out of the airborne particles in your home, especially the particles that create the smell of smoke, few strategies are as effective as simply opening the windows. When you let in fresh air, you dilute many of the chemicals that are creating indoor air pollution, and much of the particles will be forced outward. Yes, there are more active-intense measures you can take, but you’ll find that simply allowing fresh air in the home is one of the most effective.
Wash and Scrub Walls from Ceiling to FloorsMuch of the smoke smell that you notice in a home will be lingering on the walls, but it can often be removed with light cleaning and scrubbing. Use a damp cloth or sponge and gently go over all the walls. Once you are done, take a dry rag and wipe down all the walls from top to bottom. If the walls are noticeably damp, you might also want to increase air circulation with fans and open windows. By cleaning the walls, you will remove a lot of the residue that remains from smokers.
Shampoo the CarpetsThe carpets are never an easy area to clean, and simple vacuuming rarely does the trick. Yes, it might be effective for removing dust and larger particles from the carpet, which could enhance air quality, but it will rarely remove the smell of smoke.
Instead, you will have to remove smoke by shampooing the carpets. For convenience, you can hire a company to come in and shampoo the carpets for you. This is usually fast and easy, although you may need to stay off the carpet while it dries. You can also purchase or rent your own carpet shampooer, which will help you save but may not bring as effective results as a professional service.
Wash Any Clothing that Smells Like SmokeYou will often find that even if you don’t smoke, your clothes could smell like cigarettes. If you are near smokers on a regular basis, you may need to thoroughly wash all of your clothing with warm water and a top-quality detergent. By cleaning your clothing, you may actually find that much of the smokey smell in your home is miraculously removed.
Wash or Replace Window Drapes and BlindsThe smell of smoke will linger on many surfaces, but the window drapes and blinds can be a surprisingly stubborn holder of smoke odor. Smoke often lingers at the level of drapes, allowing the fabrics to absorb the smoke odor. As long as these drapes are in your home, you will likely have problems with a smoky smell. Fortunately, they can easily be washed, assuming the fabric is capable of withstanding the washing process. If you have no other options, you may need to actually take the fabric down and replace it with new material.
Have Vents Professionally CleanedThe vents in your home are often full of dust, pollen, and other chemicals, and cleaning these areas can be extremely difficult, as access is almost impossible without dismantling the vents themselves. For this reason, most people will simply have a professional come to their home and clean the vents. By having the vents cleaned, you will remove many of the harmful chemicals that make thirdhand smoke such a hazard.
Use the Right Materials and Technologies for Cleaning SmokeOne of the most important aspects of cleaning the home from smoke is having the right materials and cleaning supplies to supplement air purification. These materials can be household items, such as vinegar and backing soda, or items that are made specifically for cleaning, such as specialized machines or cleaning sprays.
VinegarAnyone who owns a coffee pot knows that vinegar is one of the best cleaning supplies. This versatile household liquid can be used for a variety of cleaning projects, including the removal of smoke. You can use vinegar as a cleaning solution on walls and other hard surfaces, and it’s even good for cleaning away mold, one of the most hazardous and common forms of air pollution.
Baking SodaBaking soda is extremely good for absorbing odors, which is why many people place the substance in their refrigerators and microwaves. It can also be used for the removal of odors from fabrics like carpet. Simply sprinkle some baking soda on areas that smell like smoke and let it sit for a couple minutes. Vacuum the areas and you will likely remove much of the annoying smell that makes smoke such an irritation.
FebreezeSometimes you are not trying to actually remove the smoke smell, but simply cover it up, and Febreeze, as well as other scented sprays, can be useful for reducing the overall amount of foul odors in your home. After you have thoroughly cleaned the entire home, including the walls, carpets, and drapes, spray gently with a scented fabric cleaner to give the home a clean, fresh scent. Be careful, however, to use a spray that is clean and healthy, without any harmful contaminants, or you may be simply replacing one form of air pollution with another.
Activated CharcoalIf you want to remove the smell of cigarette smoke, few materials will be as effective as activated charcoal, also known as activated carbon. This filter medium, which is made by modifying carbon-heavy materials, is extremely porous, so it is able to take in air and grab some of the most microscopic particles. For this reason, it’s one of the best options when you need to reduce smoke odors in your home. If you are looking for the best air purifiers for smoke, be sure to use an activated carbon filter to get the best possible results.
Ozone Generators…Perhaps Not!When you start researching various technologies that can be used to reduce your exposure to smoke smell, you may find that ozone generators, a type of smoke eater, are often referenced. Some people claim that ozone is an effective way to remove harmful airborne particles, smoke odor, and mold spores, and while this is true, it’s also true that releasing ozone by itself creates its own set of issues.
Ozone is essentially three oxygen atoms combined in one molecule. While two oxygen particles are extremely stable, adding a third makes the molecule unstable. The third oxygen atom can easily detach from the ozone molecule and attach to other particles, which disrupts the structure of whatever it attaches to. In this way, ozone can eliminate the particles that create smokey smells, but they also can harm our own cells.
The EPA says that ozone makes it difficult to breathe deeply, and can cause shortness of breath when inhaled. It will cause coughing and wheezing, as well as a sore or scratchy throat. It can also aggravate lung diseases, so anyone with a pre-existing condition will have all sorts of troubles if they are exposed to ozone.
For this reason, many people recommend avoiding ozone generators. At the very least, they say that ozone should only be used by trained professionals. Most experts will recommend that you only use air purifiers that do not release ozone into the surrounding atmosphere.