Unhealthy Fumes From The Garage: Are They Drifting Into Your Home?
You may be doing everything possible to prevent carbon monoxide hazards in your home, such as having your fuel-burning equipment serviced regularly and using carbon monoxide detectors. But have you thought about the fumes from your attached garage? If CO leaks from your garage, your detectors may not be positioned so that they can alert you to the hazard, as most expert recommendations advise locating detectors near sleeping areas and centrally located on each floor of a home. An attached garage puts you at risk of higher CO exposure. Fumes from the garage may seep into the home when the shared door is opened or through cracks in the wall or floor/ceiling. In fact, studies now show that fumes from the garage pose a greater hazard than previously thought. These studies reveal that homes with attached garages typically have higher levels of CO than homes without garages. The gas is emitted by automobiles (released once a car’s turned on or while it’s warming up), lawn mowers and other power equipment. Two issues that encourage fumes from the garage to penetrate the home involve leaks in the shared wall and pressure differences. During cooler weather, vented home equipment and exhaust fans create a lower home pressure, while a garage typically has a higher pressure. To resolve CO risks you can:
- Install an exhaust fan in the garage.
- Tightly seal the shared wall/floor.
- Avoid running the car in the garage.
- Limit how often you open the shared door.