5 Tips for Dealing with Your Neighbors’ Odors in Your Apartment

Unwanted odors from neighboring apartments can be an irritating problem for many apartment dwellers. Whether it’s cigarette smoke, incense, or cooking smells, finding ways to block out these odors can significantly improve your living environment. While it’s challenging to eliminate such odors completely, there are several steps you can take to mitigate the issue and maintain a fresh atmosphere in your home.

1. Make Sure Your Home is Sealed:

One common entry point for outside odors is through cracks in doors and windows. Ensure your doors and windows are airtight and close them when needed. Check if your apartment door snugly fits into its frame; consider using a draft stopper to seal the bottom. This simple addition keeps out unwanted smells and helps with insulation and pest control.

2. Use Your Fans:

If your kitchen has a ducted hood above the stove, use it to remove cooking smells effectively. Ducted hoods expel air outside the building, providing better ventilation compared to exhaust fans and windows. While NYC does not mandate ducted hoods, exhaust fans, and windows should still help remove odors from your apartment, as they are required to replace the kitchen’s air six times per hour according to the NYC Administrative Code.

3. Think About Purchasing a Portable Air Filter:

Consider using a portable air purifier to improve indoor air quality and eliminate odors. These purifiers use various technologies, such as high-efficiency filters, ultraviolet light, and carbon, to absorb odors effectively. While some purifiers can be expensive, there are more affordable natural remedies, like using activated charcoal in a mesh or cotton bag or placing an open box of baking soda to neutralize smells in smaller spaces.

4. Seek Building Management Support:

If you continue to experience persistent odor issues, consult your property manager or landlord for possible building-wide solutions. Inspect your kitchen and bathroom fans to ensure they are working efficiently. The roof vent fans might require inspection and maintenance if they are not pulling the air effectively. Properly closing hallway doors, which should shut and latch by themselves for fire safety, can also prevent odor spread in multifamily buildings.

5. Engage in Open Communication:

If you can identify the neighbor responsible for the odors, consider having a friendly conversation with them about the issue. Politely asking them to take measures such as using their ducted hood, cracking a window, or smoking outside can be a cost-effective solution. Alternatively, your property manager can act as a mediator to address the situation professionally and avoid potential awkwardness.

While it may be challenging to entirely eliminate odors from neighboring apartments, taking proactive steps can significantly improve the air quality in your apartment. If you want some personal or specific recommendations, please get in touch! We’d love to share our best tips!

If you’re interested in learning about buying or selling in Brooklyn, download our free Buying Into Brooklyn Ebook or our Seller’s Guide. We share a ton of valuable resources to demystify the buying and selling process.

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