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Do Air Conditioners Have Smoke Filters? (What You Need To Know)

Do Air Conditioners Have Smoke Filters? (What You Need To Know)

You might question if air conditioners actually filter out smoke in addition to keeping our houses cool and comfortable. Well, we will provide you with a thoughtful response to that question in this piece.

A home’s air conditioner serves to chill the space, not to purge it of smoke. However, as technology develops, the quality of the air conditioner’s parts has also improved. In other words, some upgraded air conditioner filters can now partially purify smoke.

An air conditioner still has benefits beyond simply cooling our houses. And we invite you to read on to find out how.

Do Air Conditioners Have Smoke Filters?

An air purifier functions differently than an air conditioner. Try not to use them as an air purifier despite the fact that some of them can somewhat filter smoke. In order to prevent premature degradation, you need also be accountable for utilizing your air conditioner correctly.

The following list of factors make air conditioners ineffective for screening smoke:

  1. As one of the tiniest air pollutants currently in existence, smoke particles require proper filtration.
  2. Various kinds of filters are used by air conditioners.

Filters are used in air conditioners to prevent dust and other particles from entering the cooling system. And it is those filters that raise the standard of the air.

It would also be ideal to clean the filters once a month. However, how much dirt your air conditioner can handle will determine that. You typically need to clean them once a week as the amount of contaminants increases.

If So, How Well Do They Filter Smoke?

Our investigation led us to the conclusion that window air conditioners are more efficient at removing smoke from the air than tiny air conditioners with a single hose. They ensure that the air is breathable.

A window AC unit may allow outside toxins into your house, but if the unit and the windows are well-sealed, you may be sure you are safe.

Are Evaporative Air Conditioners Capable Of Smoke Filtration?

Evaporative air conditioners are ineffective in removing smoke from the air, according to specialists. Furthermore, these might potentially absorb smoke outside.

Therefore, we strongly advise against using these air conditioners as a last resort, especially if you live in an area where bushfires frequently occur. Additionally, you should immediately turn off the air conditioner if there is smoke outside.

Can Smoke Be Filtered By A Reverse Cycle Air Conditioner?

These sorts of air conditioners are good at clearing the air of smoke. The good air filtration from various particles and dust is one of reverse cycle air conditioners’ standout advantages, along with humidification. These air conditioners are primarily used by homeowners in the winter and summer.

Do Air Conditioners Block Smoke From Wildfires Or Bushfires?

Some air conditioners, particularly the smaller ones, are unable to capture the tiny particles left over from bushfires. But a huge one can get the job done. The government typically directs its citizens to travel to a structure with a cooling tower or large air conditioners because they can purge blaze smoke in some way when a bushfire is occurring.

When A Bushfire Or Fire Is Occurring, Can An Air Conditioner Still Be Used?

Do Air Conditioners Have Smoke Filters? (What You Need To Know)

Such questions are most frequently posed during or even before the fire season. However, it is important to remember that running an air conditioner while there is fire or smoke outside won’t harm the appliance.

The air intake also occurs indoors rather than outdoors, as was already indicated. Therefore, you can run the air conditioners safely when a wildfire or bushfire is already burning.

Do Air Conditioners Use Outside Air?

Air conditioning systems don’t bring outside air inside. Instead, they force the air out of your room by taking it. However, that will depend on what setting, such as vent mode or recirculate, you have put your air conditioner to.

Cigarette Smoke’s Effects On Your Air Conditioner

Do Air Conditioners Have Smoke Filters? (What You Need To Know)

Air conditioners cannot remove smoke, including smoke from cigarettes, as was before mentioned. Because they disperse contaminants like arsenic, ammonia, hydrogen cyanide, and carbon monoxide, cigarettes can lower the quality of indoor air. These gases can combine to form a heavy coating that can clog your filters, making them difficult to remove and lowering the quality of the air in your room.

Even if a person only smokes outside, you may discover that the smell of cigarette smoke can remain inside your home for several months or even over a year. The pollutants adhere to their skin, hair, and clothing, which allows the odor to enter the home.

Air filters have a shorter lifespan as a result of cigarette smoke. To enhance the quality of the air inside your home, we advise installing an air purifier system.

How Can Air Conditioners Be Safe From Smoke?

Keeping your air conditioner safe from smoke is easy and requires no effort.

Tobacco Smoke
To stop someone from smoking inside a room while your air conditioner is running, or to refrain from smoking inside, if a cigarette is the main cause of the smoke. Some people, however, find it intolerable to smoke outside.

If so, you can allow them to smoke as long as the door or window is left open. This is done to prevent cigarette smoke from entering the indoor air and being replaced with the clean outdoor air.

Forest Fire Smoke
Additionally, if there is a lot of smoke from a wildfire, you should use a powerful air purifier. You can lessen and eliminate the smoke that enters your room by doing that.

If your air conditioner is on, it would be preferable to close the exterior damper as soon as you can. Be sure to thoroughly seal the space between your air conditioner and the window as well. This is done to prevent the smoke from getting inside the air conditioning system.

Effects Of Smoke Exposure

Smoke can have a severe impact on your respiration and on you. If any of the following apply to you, your smoking habit may be too heavy:

  • Having breathing problems
  • Constant coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Experiencing episodes of asthma
  • Having a scratchy throat
  • Experiencing stinging in the eyes
  • Noticing a sudden fatigue
  • Clogged nose
  • Throbbing sinuses
  • Having a faster heartbeat
  • Suffering from chest discomfort
  • Migraines and headaches

How Can You Protect Yourself From Outdoor Smoke Exposure?

Wildfires occur in some areas. And you should adhere to the following advice to guarantee that you and your family are kept clear of wildfire smoke:

  1. Never attempt to open the windows. Shut the doors behind you. And whenever there is a wildfire, never forget to shut the exterior vents.
  2. Keep your animals close by. Take a non-smoking room.
  3. We advise you to leave the location if you find that the indoor air quality is deteriorating.
  4. Include a portable air filter or a cleaner.
  5. Keep windows and doors open if there is a power outage and you discover it takes too long. In this circumstance, carbon monoxide poisoning may occur.

Comparing An Air Conditioner And An Air purifier

Do Air Conditioners Have Smoke Filters? (What You Need To Know)

An air purifier excels at removing smoke from the air. While air purifiers filter the air indoors to provide clean, fresh air, air conditioners work to chill the air within your home.

HEPA filter-equipped air purifiers are readily available on the market. These HEPA filters have an effective filtering range of 0.3 to 10 microns for air pollution particles.

HEPA-filtered air purifiers can efficiently eliminate any odor, including:

  • pet smell
  • pet hair
  • pollen
  • tobacco smoke
  • both dust and dust mites
  • allergens
  • toxins
  • molds


We are all aware that air conditioners’ primary function is to chill interior air, not to filter smoke. Imagine that you desire cool, healthful air in your home. If that’s the case, especially if you reside in an area where wildfires or bushfires frequently occur, we advise incorporating air purifiers with HEPA filters to do so.

Do Air Conditioners Have Smoke Filters? (What You Need To Know)

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Written by HVAC Contributor

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