You may not be aware of it, but fumes in your garage are likely moving into your home unless you’ve strengthened the barrier between the garage and your home. Learn why these fumes are more problematic during the winter season—whether the source emanates from an idling vehicle or chemicals stored in the garage.
In the winter season, homeowners commonly run vented appliances like a forced-air furnace, water heater and exhaust fans, all of which cause the home’s pressure to lower. Outside, however, and including an attached garage space, the pressure is high due to the cooler temperatures there. Higher-pressure air will always travel toward, and be drawn to, lower-pressure air, much like warmer air naturally travels toward cooler air and spaces. As a result, if the barrier wall and ceiling between the garage and the home isn’t airtight, fumes in your garage will access the home.
It’s possible to improve conditions in the home and prevent fumes in your garage from affecting the home’s air quality. Here’s what you can do:
- Seal the shared wall and ceiling so that it’s airtight. You may want to have an expert perform an professional energy audit to find the exact locations that leak.
- Replace weatherstripping on the shared garage-to-home door, preventing fumes in your garage from moving through the door’s seal.
- Install an exhaust fan in the garage to lower the pressure there and reduce the force of air movement into the home. Running the fan will also help to quickly exhaust fumes generated by vehicles when you warm them up or pull into the garage space.
- Install carbon monoxide (CO) detectors in the home. It’s good practice to install CO detectors whenever fuel-burning equipment like a gas furnace runs in the home. Installing a device within 15 feet of the attached garage will alert you to dangerous high levels of CO emanating from the garage.
Team Bob’s Heating Cooling Plumbing serves Grand Traverse County and the surrounding areas. Contact us for more information about improving indoor air quality by keeping fumes in your garage out of your home.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Traverse City, Michigan and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about indoor air quality and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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