Most people know common contributors to poor indoor air quality include carbon monoxide from gas furnaces, formaldehyde-based products (like carpeting or furniture), or outdoor pollutants such as ragweed or pollen. However, pollution from an attached garage can actually have a significant impact on indoor air quality.
Attached garages in the Calgary area are not just a convenience; they are almost a requirement for comfort throughout the winter. With high wind chills and extreme temperatures, the convenience an attached garage (or underground parking facility) provides is unmatched: no more exposing oneself to the elements.
Most of us know that cars emit pollution; however, it’s easy to think that when a garage door is open that it will provide sufficient fresh air to compensate. But it doesn’t. In fact, an expert study revealed that homes with an attached garage had significantly higher levels of pollution from gasoline than homes that didn’t have attached garages. Further, homes without attached garages often contained no pollution from gasoline.
This is a problem, especially because there’s no other way to get a car out of or into a garage without the motor on, producing gas pollution. Therefore, the problem (and solution) lies in the ability for the pollution to get into a home, so it becomes imperative to address potential breaches that allow polluted air to from one space to the other.
These breaches consist of two factors: leaks in the wall dividing the house and garage, and pressure differences that allow air to be drawn from the garage space into the home. There are several steps you can take to remedy the problem:
- Seal air leaks between the two spaces.
- Install an exhaust fan in the garage, which will depressurize the garage and prevent air exchange.
- Have a professional assess air leak problems and the effectiveness of using an exhaust fan.
Think your attached garage is negatively impacting your home’s indoor air quality? Take action by calling Arpi’s Industries Ltd.today! We can review your options with you and help you figure out a good strategy to get your indoor air quality back to a healthy level.
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.
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.