Why Is There a Strange Cigarette Smell in My House?

A strange cigarette smell in your house can be quite an inconvenience, much more so if no one in your household smokes.

You hope that it’ll just fade in a few days, but ignoring such an unfamiliar scent can do more harm than good.

It is important to get to the root of this unfamiliar scent as it could be something serious. After all, you and your family should feel the safest in your home.

Let’s take a look at the different causes that are possibly behind this persistent cigarette smell.

What’s the Reason Behind the Cigarette Smell in My House?

Why does it smell like smoke in my house?

Cigarettes in houses can stem from a variety of reasons. Let us explore some of the primary causes that may result in this issue.

Remember, the first step is to find the source of the odor,

The second step is to remove the smell with a scent device or a purifier.

1. Mildew and Mold

The presence of mold and mildew in your home may, strangely enough, emit a cigarette smoke-like odor.

Whether it is in the basement, kitchen, or bathroom, mold and mildew build-up can cause a sweet, pungent fragrance or a sweet sticky smell. 

Mold and mildew result due to the presence of water, fluid, and moisture in certain areas of your home.

While the scent of mold and mildew may seem sweet and pleasant, it can still be injurious to your health and hygiene.

2. Third-Hand Smoke

When you think of cigarette smoke, you probably don’t think of it lingering on your furniture long after the smoker has left the room.

But that’s exactly what happens with third-hand smoke. 

Third-hand smoke is the residue that is left behind on surfaces like furniture, carpets, and clothing after a cigarette has been smoked.

This residue can contain high levels of nicotine and other toxins, and it can produce a characteristic “smokey” smell in your home. 

In addition to being unpleasant, this smell can also be harmful to your health.

Studies have shown that exposure to third-hand smoke can damage your respiratory system and increase your risk of cancer. 

So if you’re trying to avoid second-hand smoke, be sure to also avoid third-hand smoke by not smoking in your home and by keeping your furniture and carpets clean.

3. Air Conditioner 

Many people are surprised to learn that the cigarette smell in their home is actually coming from their air conditioner.

While it may seem counterintuitive, the fact is that cigarette smoke can linger in the air for hours, and eventually make its way into the ductwork of your AC system. 

Once the smoke gets into the ducts, it will be circulated throughout your home every time the AC turns on.

In addition, the heat from the AC can cause the smoke to condense on surfaces, causing a lingering smell. 

If you suspect that your AC is responsible for the cigarette smell in your home, you may want to have it professionally cleaned.

This will remove any build-up of smoke from the ductwork and help to freshen the air in your home.

4. Furnace Leakage

Another source of a smokey smell circulating your home could be a leaking furnace. 

In most cases, the heat exchanger in the furnace pumps hot air via the air ducts. If it spills, it will emit a pleasant, formaldehyde-like smell. 

However, unlike the other reasons, this smokey smell is out of the ordinary, potentially signifying a threat that must be addressed right away.

Carbon monoxide is a toxic gas that may leak from heat exchangers.

If your heat exchanger starts to give off a smokey smell, shut it down immediately and get it looked at by a professional.

5. Lack of Air Circulation

This is a rare occurrence, but a smokey smell in your home can result from reduced air circulation.

This is typically the case when you come home after a vacation and encounter an off smell diffused in your home. 

When you go on vacation, your house does not receive enough ventilation and air circulation.

Consequently, you may notice a smokey odor when you return home. In general, this odor does not linger around for long.

6. Additional Chemicals and Glasses

We use many electrical devices, all of which contain an array of chemicals and glasses.

Sweet smells may result due to gas or chemical leaks. Cyanide gas, for example, might leave your home smelling like a delicious almond.


How can you get rid of the smokey smell from your home?

If you know the root cause of the issue, you can direct your eradication efforts accordingly to get rid of the smell.

What to do if the smell is due to molds?

If the smoky odor is the result of mold and mildew build-up, you must clean them to eliminate the smell. 

Clean any areas that are exposed to persistent wetness like the kitchen, bathroom, and basement, for example.

Cleaning carpets, rugs, mats, and other such items can also be beneficial.

How to fix refrigerator and air conditioner leaks?

To address a refrigerant or air conditioner leak, it is best to seek expert assistance.

How to deal with a furnace leak?

If you suspect a furnace leak, get professional assistance right away and evacuate your home because carbon monoxide leakages can be very dangerous.

How to get rid of pest infestation?

In most cases, bed insect infestations can be resolved by washing the bedsheets in warm water.

Furthermore, you can use vinegar or commercial remedies to repel mosquitoes or bugs.

If you suspect a massive infestation, however, seek professional assistance.

Can I fix the ventilation problem?

You can remedy a ventilation problem by ensuring that the house has adequate ventilation.

Open the house’s doors and windows and switch on the fans to allow air circulation.

I am experiencing chemical odors. What to do?

If you notice other gasses or substances that have a sweet fragrance in your home, you should seek professional help because you may not be aware of how hazardous the fumes or chemicals are.

Final Thoughts

Cigarette smells are quite unpleasant, especially if you’re someone who’s very cautious about second-hand smoke and even third-hand smoke.

We’ve discussed above the many reasons that could be behind this smell, and hopefully, they help you pinpoint the cause of this issue.

Once the main issue has been identified, it’s much easier to remove the smell and purify the air of your home.