Now that the weather has cooled, you’re undoubtedly spending more time indoors. You may think that the air inside your home is less polluted than outdoor air, but the truth may surprise you. Consider everything that goes on in your attached garage. This, among many other pollutants generated from other sources, impact indoor air quality for the worse.
Here are the sources coming from your garage that contribute to less-than-ideal indoor air quality:
- Starting the car: Vehicles emit chemicals from the exhaust. Even if you turn on the car with the garage door wide open, the levels of pollutants such as carbon monoxide increase in the garage and subsequently increase in your home if the walls aren’t sealed well.
- Parking the car and turning off the engine: Once you have arrived back home, turned off the car and closed the garage door, various chemicals are emitted from the engine as it cools down over the next few hours. These chemicals can leak into your home if they aren’t vented out.
- Using other gas-powered appliances: The lawn mower, edging tool and chain saw all have emissions similar to those of a car. When you turn these on in the garage, the pollutants can leak into your home.
- Storing chemicals: Pesticides, herbicides and other chemicals give off fumes that are another source of pollution in your attached garage.
Here are the ways you can improve indoor air quality:
- Install an exhaust fan: This vents garage air outside and creates a negative pressure system that prevents air from being drawn into the home from the garage. Choose an energy efficient fan and run it for a few hours after using gas-powered appliances or running your car in the garage.
- Seal leaks: Any garage wall or ceiling that is adjacent to the house should be air sealed to prevent garage pollutants from leaking into the living area. Do this by caulking visible cracks and joints in the drywall compound.
- Ventilate the space: Allow the garage space to naturally ventilate itself after pollution sources are present. Leaving the garage doors open for a period of time rather than closing pollution inside can help reduce the pollution concentration in the space.
For more information about improving your indoor air quality, contact Smoky Mountain Heating & Air.
Our goal is to help educate our customers 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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