The short answer is, yes, duplexes do share vents. Is this desirable? No. Does it happen all the time? No. But does it happen more often than we realize? Yes, it does.
If you are after a more in-depth look, then stick with us because we’re about to get into it.
Ready? Let’s jump right in!
You probably don’t want to be sharing vents with your next-door apartment neighbor but that’s just the reality of these buildings.
It can be particularly nasty if the people in the next flat smoke or cook pungent food every single day without opening a window. But again, such is life.
Many duplex blocks are built fairly cheaply, hence why they construct two homes to share one vent. However, yours could be completely different. The only way to know for sure is to check with the management company and query the construction of your specific duplex.
More often than not, you’ll find that you are sharing a vent with someone else.
Having said this, you might be one of the lucky ones! What do we mean by this? Well, you could have your own HVAC system (i.e. Heating, Ventilation, and Air-Conditioning system).
This means that the system will force fresh air into your unit from the roof, and around the entire building.
In this instance, everyone has their own extractor fans to expel air. But, leaks do happen, meaning you may be sharing some circulated air in any case.
If you have pure control over the temperature in your home, it is incredibly unlikely that you share this system with anyone else. Even if you share vents, that doesn’t necessarily mean that your heating is connected.
However, your building might use one hot water system for each residence.
In this case, your duplex will be fitted with a fan system that allows you to control the temperature of your specific home independently from your next-door neighbor.
If neither of these situations sound like yours, then you may well be sharing the heating. But this is usually just hot water heating and not the air pushed into your home.
Is Your Duplex Receiving Air Flow From Your Neighbors?
To tell you the truth, this is very unlikely. Yes, even if you do share vents as the air flowing through these tends to be aimed outside and not into your home.
If air is coming into your duplex from fans on the roof, the air is traveling down through the central ventilation chute before emptying into your house from the floor vents.
In this scenario, you are not receiving air directly from someone’s duplex; it’s coming straight from the hub.
Having said that, it is unlikely that your duplex is perfectly sealed. Small gaps around the walls, floors, ceilings, and pipes are more than likely already there. Of course, air will flow through here and into your home. In other words, you are sharing air with your neighbor.
People have claimed that this causes all kinds of problems. And we can see why!
It isn’t just the air that duplex dwellers are uncomfortable with. It’s the fact that smells travel with it. Yep, including second-hand smoke and seriously strong scents from cooking food.
To be completely honest with you, there isn’t much you can do about it (apart from opening your windows to let some fresh air in). If you have to live in your duplex, you’re going to have to make peace with everything that comes along with it (as unfortunate as it may sound).
The Bottom Line
As you now know, you are probably sharing a vent with your next-door neighbor.
But, if you want to be 100% certain that this is the case, check with your management company. They will be able to give you specific details on the construction of your duplex and your HVAC system.
We strongly suggest that you open your windows every single day to let some real fresh air in. There’s nothing like coming home to a well-aired house after a long day of hustling! Trust us, you will thank us for it.