I love my roommate dearly, but sometimes her love for candles and air fresheners tends to drive me crazy. We live in a two bedroom house with a three year old HVAC system. It’s extremely efficient, in part because we both have vents and air returns located in each room, instead of just one air return like many older systems have. This means that air can easily recirculate back into the air conditioning system throughout each individual room of the house. While this is an incredible effect for when you want to get the house cold or warm in a few minutes or less, it’s frustrating when you live with someone constantly burned candles whose scents get circulated throughout our house because of the air conditioner’s setup. To make matter worse, my roommate recently bought a bunch of imported incense from a farmer’s market in town. I love the smell of many of the incense rods, but they’re extremely potent when lit for longer than a few seconds at a time. You could easily smoke out the entire house if you’re not careful, and that’s essentially what my roommate did last Wednesday when she left an incense stick burning for an hour until it burnt all the way down to the base of the rod. The house was hazy looking and smelled like India. I felt like I was back in college and immediately remembered to open the windows and get the fumes out. I asked my roommate to make sure the air conditioner is off when she wants to burn her incense, and to also make sure a window is open in her room while she does it as well. I can’t imagine the damage the smoke would have on the evaporator coil in the air conditioner after getting recirculated so many times. I don’t want to find out the hard way.