Have you thought about your home’s indoor air quality lately? If you’re like most homeowners, probably not. We usually assume that the air inside our homes is safe and free of pollutants — but for homes with attached garages, that may not be the case.
Attached garages are wonderfully convenient and provide tremendous storage. Unfortunately, having all those cars, lawn equipment and bags of fertilizer so close to the home may contribute to poor indoor air quality. Why? Because so many of these items tend to “off-gas” chemicals and other airborne substances that can make their way indoors and negatively impact the health of residents.
For example, a car started inside the garage will produce carbon monoxide (CO) that will linger inside the space, even if the door is open. Because the air pressure inside the house is higher than in the garage, that CO is naturally drawn inside the home through small cracks in walls, ceilings or around doors. The end result is higher CO levels inside than out!
While nothing can keep out every air contaminant, there are steps a homeowner can take to improve the situation.
- Remove contributors: Find a new place to store herbicides and fertilizers. Get rid of old oil or gasoline containers. Minimize the off-gassing of chemical substances in your garage by reducing what you have on site.
- Seal the space: Use caulk or expanding foam to eliminate cracks or gaps around doorways. Make sure that the interior wall is properly insulated. Don’t leave garage drywall unfinished — mud and tape the joints to ensure that nothing passes through them unnoticed.
- Install a fan: A small exhaust fan vented to the outside can remove many airborne contaminants. Run it every time the car enters or leaves the garage, or consider a model that operates continuously.
At Roth Heating & Cooling, Plumbing & Electrical, the health and safety of our customers always comes first. We have the tools and the expertise to create a safe environment for your family. If you’re concerned about indoor air quality, contact us at (503) 994-9924 and let us help you find the right solution for your home.