[Solved] Neighbors Smell Coming Through Vents

By removing heavy, moist, and stale air, vents keep the air in our house fresh and comfortable.

However, in rental houses, multiple apartments can have a single vent for the ventilation system. Neighbors’ smells coming through vents are familiar in those houses. 

These smells can be created when the neighbor cooks different dishes or paints their walls.

You can also get their cigarette or weed smell when they are smoking. However, the most dangerous vent smell may be the smell of natural gas.

Natural gas, or methane, is a heavy gas, so it can’t get out when the house is completely locked.

If, at that time, gas starts leaking, the vent will be filled with a gas smell. At that time, leave home immediately and contact the homeowner.

Can Smell Travel Through Vents?

Yes, the odor can travel through vents. Air enters the room through a vent. It also carries any kind of odor with the wind.

As odors are small molecules made with different gases like CO2, CO, SO2, NO2, etc., they can get mixed with room air. 

Vents are used for air passing into and out of a room. That’s why wind can carry any kind of smell with it, as well as any dirt. So, smells can travel through vents.

What does it mean if you smell gas through your vents?

If you get the smell of gas through the vent, natural gas somehow gets into the duct. Gas may start leaking into your neighbor’s house when wholly shut. 

As natural gas is methane, heavier than air, it can’t get outside the roof area. According to monarch home experts, this gas starts gathering inside the room, and its smell can be spread from the vent. If you get any gas smell, leave the house and contact your neighbor immediately.

How to stop neighbors’ smells from coming through vents

These processes can stop neighbors’ smells from coming through vents.

Contact your neighbors first.

It is better to contact your neighbors and tell them about neighbors’ food smell coming through vents.

Make sure to be polite and not too pushy, and ask them if they have anything causing a smell in the vent. If they have something, ask them to adjust it politely. You may also help them to understand the issue and fix it.

Using an air purifier 

Many air purifiers have carbon filters created to filter out smells from vents in nearby apartments. Bonded carbon and loose-filled carbon are the two kinds of carbon filters that can be used in air purifiers. 

Bonded carbon is more efficient than loose carbon because it has more carbon. 

Simply place the air purifier in a convenient spot in the vent so that it won’t obstruct the ventilation system in your house. As a result, it can absorb odors more effectively. This is also how to stop smells from coming through vents in apartment

By using odor absorbers

According to urmc.rochester,  materials from the kitchen, such as vinegar, baking soda, coffee, etc., are excellent deodorizers. Because of their potent scents and chemical makeup can eliminate various vent smells, like cigarette smoke or pee. 

Baking soda is alkaline, making it efficient against sour smells, but vinegar is acidic and useful against strong alkaline scents like pee. This is how to stop my neighbours cooking smell coming into my home.

Use exterior fans

An outside fan serves the primary function of introducing fresh air into the house and removing stale air. Elpais says gases, including CO2, CO, various scents, and other substances, are present in heavy air. 

The outward-facing fan blades remove this heavy air. One external fan should be placed in the vent’s face so that it may exhaust the chemical smell coming from neighbors apartment.

Use charcoal

Charcoal briquettes are also able to remove odors. Charcoal is created when coals are burnt at high temperatures, and the carbon inside them gets deformed. That’s why it has a strong smell that absorbs heavy odors like cigarette smoke or pee. 

If you get neighbors weed smell coming through vents, try to sew some charcoal briquettes into some packets and put them in the vent if you get any awful smells.

Clean the ducts regularly. 

It is essential to clean the duct regularly to reduce the amount of odor created in the vent. Sometimes, small animals die in the vent or duct, whose bodies get rotten and spread odors. 

Also, dirt or slime can be stored in the vent, which can cause different smells. Therefore, try to clean the duct and vent area regularly. Use an air freshener there. You can also pour some thinner if necessary.

Create a separate ventilation system for your room

Real Estate says when the neighbor doesn’t solve the issue causing the smell in the vent, you may need to change your home ventilation system and create a separate one. 

That’s why you should contact good cooling and heating companies so that they can shut off the duct on the neighbor’s side. As a result, the awful smells won’t get into your room anymore. 

Change your house

In the end, if all the upper processes can not solve the problem and still smell coming through the vent, change the house. Vent odors can carry germs that can cause various diseases in family members. 

That’s why you should look for a better house with a sound ventilation system and, before moving there, talk with neighbors to understand if that house has a sound ventilation system or not.

How To Stop My Neighbor’s Cooking Smell From Coming Into My Home

The cooking smell can spread from one room to another by using doors, windows, walls, vents, etc. As small molecules create smells, they can’t be stopped completely. However, the neighbors’ cooking smells can be neutralized by using a different smell. 

Kitchen elements like baking soda, coffee, lemon, orange, vinegar, etc., have a strong smell that can outshine neighboring cooking smells. It is also easy to change your room’s air circulation system to stop the cooking smell of your neighbor. 

To do it, shut off the vents, doors, and windows and fix any holes in the wall. Air purifiers and air fresheners work well against cooking odors but replace their filters regularly.


When neighbors smell something coming through vents, it is awful. This smell can be food odor, paint odor, smoke odor, or even gas odor. So try to contact your neighbors when the smell comes through the vent. 

Explain your situation politely and ask them to take the necessary steps, so that smells stop coming through the vent.

If the problem still occurs, try to use odor absorbers, exterior fans, or an air purifier. Make sure to clean the vent area regularly. When all the processes fail, try to change the house or contact the landlord.

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