What to Know About Garage Ventilation
Ever since the Canadian government published a study about the amount of pollution entering homes from attached garages, the need for garage ventilation has become an important and valid concern. Even detached garages pose similar risks as those that connect to a home through a door and common wall.
Most garages are repositories for vehicles, yard chemicals, paints, finishes and sometimes pesticides. Each of these products contains harmful airborne chemicals that can degrade health, especially with the kind of prolonged exposure that you may experience with an attached garage. If the ductwork for your home’s HVAC system runs through the attic, you’re at even greater risk for chemical exposure.
You can reduce the risk of exposure to the toxic chemicals found in garages, especially harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and deadly carbon monoxide (CO) by ventilating the garage and sealing the ductwork. The best approaches include:
A kitchen or bathroom exhaust fan placed on an exterior wall of the garage or through the ceiling will pull out harmful fumes whenever it runs. You can also find specialized fans designed specifically for garage ventilation. Look for models that either use motion detectors, timers, humidistats, or thermostats.
A thermostat will turn the ventilation fan when temperatures reach uncomfortably warm levels, which keeps the air fresher and the chemicals inside it cooler to prevent combustion or an increased production of VOCs. Warmer air increases the concentration of airborne VOCs.
Sealed ductwork for both supply and return ducts is critical if they run through the attic and your garage is attached to your home. Having your ducts periodically tested for tightness and professionally sealed will prevent exposure to harmful garage chemicals.
Protecting your home’s air quality with garage ventilation doesn’t have to be a challenging project and it has a high return with improved air quality and better health for your entire family.
Our goal at Sobieski Services is to help our customers in Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware learn more about comfort and energy issues, especially related to HVAC systems, to live in healthier and more comfortable homes.
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