Recent studies have found that the air inside homes is often five times more polluted than the outside air. If you have an attached garage, this is even more likely to be the case, since harmful fumes in garage air can be drawn into the home through cracks and holes.
What’s in the garage?
When you park and turn off your vehicle in your garage, the hot engine continues to emit gases and chemicals for an hour or longer. Even with the garage door open, these pollutants linger and may leak into your home. Other contaminants commonly found in garages include gas-powered gardening equipment, unsealed pet food and garbage bins (invites rodents), pesticides, herbicides, paints and stains, and other chemicals.
Keeping out garage pollutants
Pollutants in your garage air can leak into the living space through the smallest cracks, holes, and, of course, by opening the access door. Air pressure differences during cooler weather boosts this movement of the garage air (high pressure) into the living space (low pressure). Follow these tips:
- Install an automatic hinge on the access door so that it does not stay open unattended.
- Install/upgrade weatherstripping around the access door.
- Tightly seal all pet food, garbage bins, fuel containers, and chemicals.
- Repair and seal all holes and cracks in the mutual wall with joint compound. Paint after sealing.
- If you have ducts in the garage, make sure they do not leak.
- Install an exhaust fan. Run the fan 30 minutes after a vehicle has been started, and for two hours once a vehicle has been parked. An automatic timer can make this simpler.
- Make sure that you have CO detectors installed near the bedrooms and the garage access door.
Contact Ernst Heating & Cooling with any questions. We proudly provide Metro-East area with quality service in just hours – and we have done so for more than 60 years.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about garage air and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
|Indoor Air Quality image via Shutterstock|