We're having an issue with noxious cigarette/weed/vape smoke smells coming from our neighbours. We live in a semi-detached house and have been having this issue for a little under a year. While we know the smoking is happening in the basement, but the smell is most coming through to the main floor and occasionally upstairs. It seems to be coming through the vents and majority wise the air/return vents. We are looking for a solution and ASAP.
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It has been a Code requirement forever to have completely separated HVAC systems between suites including secondary suites within a home.
There are two possible paths that come to mind for odors to be getting through: either from outside entering the fresh air vent (if your home is new enough to have one), or entering the return air system where joists spaces are blocked off - the joist spaces may not have been properly blocked off or separated between units.
Possible solutions include relocating the fresh air intake or opening up ceilings to see if there are any deficiencies in the return air system.
Sorry to hear about your issue. More than likely this is an air seal concern, rather than anything HVAC related. The major area of energy loss and air transfer in a home, with the exception of the attic space or exposed floors, will be your rim joist pockets. There are two options to cure this. These options include include 2lb density spray foam and half pound density, open cell, spray foam. 2lb would be highly recommended as you are provided with a vapour barrier and air seal within your first 2" of application. Building code does require any spray foam to be covered by 1/2"-5/8" drywall or fire barrier. If you have any further questions or need any assistance feel free to reach out anytime. Good luck with your issue.
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