You enjoy the perks of having an attached garage, but have you ever considered the health risks they pose? When your house is not properly sealed off from your attached garage, the carbon monoxide (CO) produced by your vehicle and other noxious garage fumes can creep into your home and threaten your family. It’s important to be aware of the risk and take measures to prevent CO from entering your home.
How carbon monoxide finds its way into your home
Carbon monoxide is a product of incomplete combustion due to a lack of oxygen being present. When you start (or run) your vehicle in your poorly ventilated garage, it’s only a short time before dangerous levels of CO can be generated, even with the overhead garage door open (of course, you should never run you car in the garage with the overhead door closed). When your car leaves the garage and the overhead door comes down, the gas is trapped inside. If the door to your home or dividing wall has any cracks or leaks, CO and other fumes can creep into your house.
Preventing carbon monoxide from getting inside
To protect your home against carbon monoxide from your garage, work with your trusted HVAC contractor to detect and seal any holes or cracks around your door or walls. Also make sure your attached garage has plenty of ventilation, and consider installing an exhaust fan in the garage. This will help maintain lower air pressure in the garage than your home, ensuring that air is moving from your house to the garage rather than vice versa.
Detecting carbon monoxide
It is also important to invest in one or more CO monitors for your home. These devices work like standard CO detectors, but have the added benefit of reporting the levels of the gas within your home at any given time. In this way, you can discover any problems immediately and address them. To protect your living spaces from CO infiltration from the attached garage, install a CO detector or monitor near the garage door.
Always be on the alert for symptoms of CO poisoning in family members, which can include headaches, nausea, disorientation and extreme fatigue.
For help in evaluating how well your home is sealed from your attached garage, or in choosing and installing CO detectors in your northwest Arkansas home, please contact us at Paschal Heat, Air & Geothermal.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Northwest Arkansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about carbon monoxide and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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