The Importance Of Adequate Garage Ventilation

06/03/2024 | By Ross |

the importance of adequate garage ventilation

Like attics, garages often need to catch up on important updates that improve their energy efficiency and indoor air quality. While your garage may seem like an afterthought, an attached garage affects your living spaces in multiple ways and should be an important consideration whenever you update insulation or evaluate your whole-home energy and ventilation systems.

4 Reasons It’s Essential To Have Adequate Garage Space

Ventilation can be as simple as opening and closing a window. However, in peak hot and cold seasons, most families prefer to use more ventilation-specific systems to keep air circulating through a building while minimizing fluctuations in temperature and humidity.

If you have an attached garage or utilize your garage as a bonus room or additional living space, garage ventilation is a top priority.

Prevent toxic inhalations

If you're like most households, the garage serves as a partial storage unit. That includes storing toxic items like paint, wood finishing products, extra fuel for your landscaping tools or toys, fertilizer, herbicides, and pesticides. Even if you can’t always smell them, and no matter how securely you store them, chemicals and other items like these continually off-gas toxic fumes.

Without adequate garage ventilation, you breathe them in every time you’re in your garage, as do any kids, pets, or others who spend time in the space. By increasing ventilation, toxic fumes have a chance to ventilate into the outdoors while fresh air is circulated through the space.

Minimize toxins in your home

If you have an attached garage, and your home is 15 years old or less, odds are you have adequate insulation to protect your home from temperature transfer from the less-insulated garage space. However, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that off-gas from the toxins we mentioned above can travel through the pores in the structural materials, allowing them into your interior living spaces.

As long as you are thinking about updating garage insulation or ventilation, we also recommend ensuring the door between the garage and your home is well-sealed, preventing further infiltration of toxic fumes into your living spaces.

Minimize carbon monoxide (CO) levels with adequate garage ventilation

Not surprisingly, garages have higher levels of CO than other areas of the house because most people start their cars in the garage before heading out. While increasing legislation around vehicle emissions and the increase of electric cars help to lower these levels, anyone with a vehicle that runs on fossil fuels should be aware of how carbon monoxide gases linger in the garage and can infiltrate the home. By augmenting garage ventilation, those poisonous gases are released outside and are less likely to accumulate to dangerous levels or to increase CO levels in your living spaces.

Make the garage more comfortable

The colder or hotter your garage is, the more at risk anything is stored inside the space. That’s especially true if the garage is the place where your pets hang out during the daytime or nighttime hours. Or, perhaps you spend time in the garage working on hobbies or doing the laundry. Either way, the more moderate its temperature, the more comfortable it will be - and the better it is for anything you have stored in there. 

These days, many Bay Area homeowners are performing garage conversions. Like attic conversions, a garage conversion is a wonderful way to gain an extra bedroom, have a safe space for aging loved ones to stay, or as additional rental income. Others prefer transforming their garage space into the family’s bonus room, sports den, or craft haven. Regardless, if the garage conversion means humans will spend more time in the space, adequate garage ventilation is essential. 

We recommend scheduling a garage inspection with insulation and ventilation pros to get the most bang for your buck, optimize indoor air quality, and ensure the space is comfortable year-round. After we complete the inspection, we’ll provide you with a list of recommendations to ensure the combination of a sound roof, adequate insulation, and garage ventilation make it a safe and comfortable place to spend quality time. Plus, our work will also increase energy efficiency, reducing utility expenses - especially during peak temperature months.

Signs Your Home Needs Adequate Garage Ventilation

The most common signs your garage needs increased or better ventilation are:

  • Your home hasn’t been remodeled or updated in 20 years or more.
  • Your ability to smell faint (or obvious) hints of chemicals stored there.
  • A musty or damp smell.
  • Evidence of mold or mildew on the ceiling or walls (or on the boxes or contents stored there).
  • Condensation on the interior side of the windows or metal or glass surfaces.
  • It’s really hot during the summer months (maybe it’s often hotter in the garage than it is outside).
  • The garage feels stuffy or stale when it’s been closed up for any length of time.

If any of those sound familiar, you’re witnessing firsthand the importance of garage ventilation.

Attic Solutions Is Ready To Help You Increase Ventilation In Your Garage

Whether you’re thinking about turning your garage into a more habitable space or are aware your garage could use a breath of fresh air, we’re here to help. Attic Solutions has improved Bay Area residents' whole-home and garage ventilation for over a decade.

Contact us to schedule a free, no-obligation inspection. After we’re done, we’ll leave you with a list of recommendations - starting with the most important - for improving your garage’s air quality and creating a more comfortable environment.

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