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Smart Exhaust Controls - Sensors Improve Garage and Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)

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Posted by: Rate It Green Team

"There are good garages and bad garages…” according to Green Builder Matt Hoots of Sawhorse, Inc.  And in the good ones, we breathe better air! 
Matt reviews the benefits and and healthy air risks with attached and detached garages. The good news is that a ventilation fan can help remove the fumes we bring into garages when we park fossil-fuel powered vehicles inside a space that shares a wall with the main living space.  A fan will also help dilute and fumes and chemials produced by items stored in a garage.  

However, it's worth noting that fans only generally “work” can can do their job with there’s some kind of sensor or automation, because people forget (or just don’t think) to turn them on, or off. The fan Matt installed in this project has a motion sensor that turns the fan on when a car pulls in (in addition to other motion of course), and there’s also a timer that can be set for a certain period of time.  The fan can also be set to sense certain chemicals or exhaust levels and can run until hazard and pollutants reach acceptable levels.  

Garages can be such a great convenience, protecting people, vehicles, and equipment from environmental conditions.  But it’s essential we build and retrofit with health and safety in mind. Read more about garages and air quality in this video as well.  We don’t want to bring in polluted air or introduce fire hazards into our occupied spaces!  Additionally, people who spend more time inside their garages should absolutely focus on air quality and good ventilation practices, as well as making sure building materials are the right materials for the job and are installed correctly.  

Indoor air quality monitoring is one way to check pollutant levels. to learn more about indoor air quality, or IAQ, check out:



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