I learned an extremely valuable and important lesson about air conditioning ventilation the other day.

There was a family get together planned at my house for the weekend, with a poolside barbeque among close family and friends.

Since it’s getting closer to July each day, the stores are carrying fireworks in increasing quantity in anticipation of that famous national holiday. My brother’s kids have been playing with smoke bombs and those little balls of gunpowder and flint wrapped in paper, about the size of a pea. They’re sometimes called poppits or snappers, and when you throw them at a hard surface, it causes the gunpowder to ignite and create a loud “pop” noise. My nephews were throwing them at each other while at my house; and despite knowing the time it would take me later to pick all of them up after they left, I let them do it. However, they took it a step further by throwing smoke bombs at each other, at one point while still running through my living room on the way to the back patio. The little smoke bomb rolled into my hallway connecting my kitchen to my master and guest bedrooms. In seconds the entire house was filled with smoke, causing all of the detectors to go off. I kept trying to ventilate the house by running the air conditioner, but I had no luck. Finally, after an hour of constant smoke with no relief from simply running the HVAC system, I wised up and opened every single window and door to the outside. Then, I turned on several fans to create a breeze to circulate air in and out. Thankfully, that finally did the trick. I was wrong in assuming that my HVAC system vents to the outdoors; in fact, it’s a closed loop, so I would never get fresh air unless I opened a door or window in any situation.

HVAC technician