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Question about allergies and air filters

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I hope this isn't too long...

As some may know, my mom passed away last week. Instead of selling her house, we have decided to remortgage it (only about $27,000 left) and have my sister and her family move into it. Only one BIG problem, my mother was a smoker, and my BIL is EXTREMELY sensitive to it.

My brother in law is a Gulf War vet, and was there when there were those horrible oil well fires. He has not been the same since. He cannot come into my mom's house, even though for the past few years she has only smoked outside the back door.

My brother, sister, and I are in the process of putting Kilz on all the walls and ceilings, after washing them all with TSP. We're cleaning everything, everywhere. So NOW...I'm wondering is there something we can do as well with those air filters.

Has anyone here had great success with air filters with cat or other allergies, and which ones are the best?

Thank you SOOOOOO much. - Kim
post #2 of 9
I'm not sure about air filters, but if your brother-in-law has extreme allergies to cigarette residue, it would be worth the money to have the air ducts cleaned out by a professional. Even with new filters, the particulates trapped in the ductwork may cause him problems. Good luck!!!
post #3 of 9
Get everything professionally cleaned! That should really help get the scent/etc out!
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by StarryEyedTiGeR View Post
Get everything professionally cleaned! That should really help get the scent/etc out!
Unfortunately, we can't even afford the funeral...we'll have to do everything ourselves.
post #5 of 9
Filters for central air? There are of course different kinds, some designed to be better. The ones that are in it now will have to be tossed if anyone has been smoking in the home, burning candles, etc.

I can ask my FIL tomorrow about it and what else you may need to do as this is what he does for a living. But the others are right, you'd be better off hiring someone to come in and clean that, fix any problems, and replace the filters.
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
I should clarify. No central air here, LOL, it's Wyoming. There is a furnace, but it only puts out heat, and in the winter. I was thinking more of those Sharper Image air filter things...or HEPA filters maybe???
post #7 of 9
oh! No idea if those will help.
You'll just have to get rid of or seal porous stuff - like wood. Furniture, carpet and even the carpet padding may be a loss. If his nose is as good as mine, he would definitely smell it.
post #8 of 9
Just wanted to let you know that those small air filters you can purchase at Walmart to Lowes are a waste of money. The only air filters that would work would be the very large and very expensive kind. We have over 15 of the medium sized kind at work(extra expense money) and they don't do a thing! The only thing that will take care of your smoke problem would be to clean clean clean and to try and air out the house as much as possible. I know my grandmother was a chain smoker. She had to paint her ceilings yearly as they would turn yellow. I would rent a carpet scrubber and a ton of cleaning supplies. Try fabreeze. I was given an antique dresser when my grandmother passed. We have had it now for over two years and it still smells like smoke! Seems like smoke really drawls in. Oh, tell your brother-in-law we are all proud of him!
Good luck.
post #9 of 9
3M makes really good air filters for your furnace. I would recommend the highest level one you can get (about $13). That's what we used before we were getting ready to move. Now we have the cheapo one the complex puts in, and I can really tell.

Other than professional cleaning and repainting I'm not sure what you can do to get the smoke smell out. That's what our complex does after everyone moves out, and you can't tell what the previous tenant was.

I sympathize with your BIL. Last year our downstairs neighbor was a chain smoker and it was coming into our apartment. I was miserable. We fought with the complex to do something about it, but they were all smokers so we didn't get much done about it.

If your mother had blinds or curtains just get rid of them and get new ones. The smoke smell probably won't come out, especially from plastic blinds. Plastic absorbs smells. I was cleaning our blinds for our move out, and found our bedroom ones have yellowed from the neighbor who smoked (it smelled like *we* were smoking in our apartment, it was bad when he lived downstairs). The blinds are just gross.

I have never used those stand alone air filters. I have never found any in my price range that actually have good reviews.
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