Yes, smoking cigarettes inside can damage your air ducts! The nicotine/tar coats itself onto every surface, forming a film of sticky, orange goo. This can smell bad, become very hard to remove, and devalue your home. You definitely should avoid smoking cigarettes inside and be aware that your return vents will be sucking in smoke.
Cigarette smoke will circulate through the air ducts and vents, leaving tar residue along the way. This can give your home a bad odor like an ashtray. While the ducts may not “break” from cigarette smoke, they can definitely suffer the effects of smoke damage. Not only that, smoking indoors presents a huge fire risk. Soft, flexible ducts can of course catch fire and lead to the fire spreading as it makes its way through or around the ductwork materials.
Air duct deodorizing is a great way to improve the smell in a house. It is just one step that will be needed if there has been a longtime smoker in the property. Along with deodorizers, various other sprays can be used to help with the situation. Worst case scenario, ducts may need to be replaced if they are beyond salvaging. This is because of the way the smoke can really destroy materials. We will always attempt to avoid full replacements when possible, and in most cases a cleaning service is all that’s needed!
Your house’s value may decrease with heavy smoking. If a potential buyer comes into the house and smells cigarettes from the ducts and they aren’t a smoker themself, it can be a huge turnoff. Even some smokers find the smell unpleasant when its coated into the flooring, walls, and ceilings – let alone the ducts. You should definitely avoid smoking in the house if you would like to preserve the cleanliness and value of your home.