Garages are a popular addition to homes across the world. A garage is an excellent way of adding extra space to your home or providing you with a secure parking location. However, there is one aspect of garages that often gets overlooked; ventilation.
Keep reading to learn more about various garage ventilation options. I will also explore how vital garage ventilation is and some DIY solutions to your garage ventilation requirements. By the end of this article, you should have a clear picture of what ventilation, if any, is needed in your garage at home.
Windows are a highly effective and popular variety of ventilation commonly found in garages. Windows can allow for excellent airflow when they’re left open. This prevents stuffy air from getting trapped in your garage, which is never very pleasant.
It can also be opened and shut as needed, which allows you to control them quickly within your garage. Windows also don’t cost any money to keep or run, which is a significant bonus, especially when compared to expensive options like air conditioning.
Windows are also aesthetically pleasing. They don’t disrupt the curb appeal of your home. They’ll likely enhance it. Windows also allow a considerable amount of light into rooms, which will improve the atmosphere and even improve your mood.
However, there are some drawbacks to opting for windows as a form of ventilation. Firstly, you can’t open the windows when using heating or air conditioning. On top of this, in hotter climates, opening windows will do little to reduce humidity and heat. Instead, windows can intensify the heat and increase the internal temperature in your home.
Windows can also be costly to install and are not always an option for garage walls. As a result, windows are unfeasible for many homeowners for their garages. Windows are also prone to breaking, which can lead to the need for expensive repairs and replacements.
Most people think air conditioning systems are just a way to keep your home cool, and while this is the primary function, air conditioners are also highly effective when it comes to ventilation. As a result, you can use air conditioning to resolve your ventilation requirements for your garage.
Air conditioning is also highly effective at keeping your garage cool. If the rest of your home has air conditioning and not your garage, this can lead to inefficient energy usage. On top of this, your garage can become hot and stuffy, which will be an unpleasant welcome home and exiting your car.
It is also a great way of reducing the risk of fire in your garage. When garages become hot, they can pose a severe fire risk as materials in roofing are highly flammable in hot conditions. This can lead to a fire if the temperature is not kept cool. Therefore installing air conditioning reduces the risk.
Air conditioning systems remove contaminants from the air when they’re well kept and clean. They suck the air out of the room and replace it with cold air. Warm air is expelled from the unit outside your property. Dust and other contaminants will be trapped in your air conditioning unit’s filtration system.
If you don’t regularly maintain and clean your air conditioning system, it can lead to several issues. The ventilation properties of air conditioners will decrease in efficacy when filters become backed up with dirt. This can lead to poor air quality, which can trigger allergies and breathing difficulties.
People often overlook doors when it comes to ventilation. Doors can provide an easy way for air to escape without you having to make more holes in your walls for vents or windows, as your garage will require a door as part of the initial design.
Doors can provide ventilation in a variety of ways. You can leave your doors open or ajar when you are home. This will create a draft of air through your garage, which is highly effective for ventilation. However, leaving your door open may be a security risk depending on where you live and where the door opens on your property.
Doors can also have ventilation installed into the door itself. This can be achieved with a small vent fit into the top or bottom of the door. These vents can be opened and shut so you can control airflow. Closing vents is essential when heating or cooling your home to improve energy efficiency.
Another way that you can ventilate your garage with doors is by adding a cat flap. Cat flaps are a great way of allowing your pets to come and go as they please. They also allow air to pass through your door, which will improve airflow in your garage.
Similarly, doors often don’t come to the top or bottom of the frame. As a result, there is usually a fraction of an inch of a gap around the door. Air can easily pass through even the smallest of openings. This will allow for minimal ventilation, which may not be enough for hot summer months by itself.
Exhaust fans are one of the most effective solutions to your garage ventilation requirements. Exhaust fans are installed into the wall of your garage with an air intake outside. The exhaust fan pulls clean air from outside and pumps it inside your garage, which massively improves air quality and keeps your garage cool.
Exhaust fans have a quick and easy installation. To install an exhaust fan into a side wall, a hole must be drilled wide enough for the exhaust to fit through. Then covers and fans are connected on both sides of the wall. As a result, an exhaust fan installation is a quick and easy process.
They also have a cover fitted to the outside of the fan. This cover prevents water, bugs, infestations, and even other contaminants from damaging the vent or gaining access to your garage. Vent covers prolong the lifespan of the exhaust fan and save you a fortune on repairs and replacements in the long term.
Exhaust fans come in all shapes and sizes to suit different ventilation requirements. Therefore if you have a small garage, you’ll likely only require one or two exhaust fans (like those for the bathroom.) However, if you have an oversized garage, you may need a more extensive system, or multiple fans fit around the walls of your garage.
It’s also highly effective at reducing the heat in your garage. During warm weather, too much heat building your garage can be a fire hazard or lead to unwanted aroma in the air. Exhaust fans pump out the hot stale air and replace it with fresh air from outside. This, in turn, will regulate the temperature while also preventing unpleasant smells from developing.
Another standard solution to your garage ventilation needs is garage door vents. Garage door vents are an easy way to enhance the airflow in your garage. They are simple to install, and you won’t have to drill through any walls or make significant changes to your garage.
Garage door vents are similar to vents that you would see in walls in your home, except they’re installed directly into the garage door. Garage Door Vents are usually installed along the top, bottom, or side of your garage door. Typically garage door vents are small and don’t require big holes or large drills for installation.
One big issue with garage door vents is the possibility of damages occurring to the garage door itself. This can happen when the vents are not installed correctly or carefully, as the materials used in garage doors can easily be damaged.
Another drawback to garage door vents is that they’re not powerful enough to ventilate an ample space. Therefore, if you have an oversized garage, door ventilation will be insufficient for your needs. As a result, you’ll have to invest in more ventilation which will make the garage door vents a waste of time and money.
While garage doors are not a viable option for large garages, they are an effective and affordable solution for smaller garages. Garage door vents can even be installed as a DIY job with the right tools and knowledge.
Heat always rises upwards. Therefore, the heat in your garage will rise directly towards the ceiling of the room. As a result, many homeowners choose to install ventilation fans now into the roof of their garages. This can maximize ventilation and vastly enhance airflow within your home.
Ceiling ventilation fans are ideal for large garages as they can be significant in size and are highly effective at removing heat and stale air from your garage. However, ceiling fans can be expensive to run, depending on the size, make, and model of your ventilation fan.
Ceiling ventilation fans can be fitted directly into your garage roof with an intake directly at the fan. Although, if you have a ceiling on your garage beneath the top, an air intake can be fitted into the ceiling that vents air out through the roof.
While ceiling ventilation fans are a practical solution for your ventilation requirements, they can provide too much airflow for small garages. Too much ventilation can lead to a few issues, including expensive utility bills and negative pressure occurring in your garage.
Negative pressure happens when a ceiling ventilation fan does not have enough air intake installed. A pressure drop can lead to headaches and discomfort within your ears as your body attempts to adjust to less air pressure, similar to when negative pressure occurs on airplanes at altitude.
As a result, smaller garages may not require the powerful ventilation that comes from ceiling fans. Instead, they should opt for a less invasive solution like a wall vent or garage door vent to better suit their needs.
Garage floor fans are a powerful solution to your ventilation needs that requires no installation at all. Instead, a floor fan is a compact and movable fan that you place on the floor of your garage. The fan then pumps air out the door or windows and ensures an excellent airflow in your garage.
Floor Fans come in a variety of sizes to suit your ventilation needs. You can purchase a compact fan for a small garage or a large floor fan to provide airflow to a larger space. Floor Fans also provide a practical cooling effect during the hot summer months that will make your garage feel far cooler.
There are some drawbacks to choosing floor fans for your ventilation, though. Without a way for the air to escape, a floor fan won’t reduce the temperature of your garage; instead, it will just feel cooler due to the fan’s cooling effect. As a result, you may need to install other ventilation along with a floor fan.
Floor fans are also quite powerful. As a result, they need more energy to operate. Which in turn results in your home using more electricity.
If you think a floor fan is suitable for your garage ventilation requirements, check out these great floor fans available to buy on Amazon.
- Dewalt High-Velocity Industrial Fan: This is a 20 inch and powerful fan ideal for ventilating medium to large spaces. The fan has three adjustable speeds so that you can control the airflow and energy usage. This fan also has a handle for easy transportation and a long cable for easy access to sockets.
- Lasko High-Velocity Pro Fan: This is a portable and affordable solution to your ventilation needs. This fan is an innovative solution with specific features designed to cool and ventilate your rooms. This fan is small yet robust and suitable for small to medium-sized garages.
- Jpower Heavy Duty Fan: This is a high-powered fan for large garages and spaces. This powerful fan has adjustable settings and a full 360-degree rotation. As a result, the fan can provide adequate cooling and ventilation for any room, even outdoors. This fan is best for more oversized garages and spaces.
Do Garages Have to Have Ventilation?
You may be wondering whether or not your garage needs ventilation at all. The answer to this question depends on the size of your garage, the local climate, and how much direct sunlight your property receives every day.
Residential garages do not require ventilation by law. However, the environmental protection agency or EPA does recommend installing ventilation in garages. This is due to harmful gasses like carbon monoxide that engines produce. Ventilation will also improve airflow and cooling.
Harmful gasses produced by vehicles like carbon monoxide can be deadly. Carbon monoxide is a silent killer with no smell, color, or taste. As a result, it can be nearly impossible to detect without an alarm. To prevent a harmful build-up of carbon monoxide, install ventilation in your garage.
Adequate ventilation will also reduce the risk of fire occurring in your garage. If your garage has a roof above it, it’s likely filled with dry materials and insulation. These materials are vulnerable to fire, especially in hot and dry conditions. A garage without ventilation will provide ideal conditions which pose a fire risk.
Therefore installing ventilation is an excellent way of allowing hot air to escape and fresh air to enter. This reduces the temperature of your garage, which then reduces your vulnerability to fires igniting in your garage and engulfing your home.
So you’re not required to have ventilation installed in your garage; however, installing ventilation will improve your safety and mitigate fire risks. You will also have improved air quality in your home.
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If you wish to improve the ventilation in your garage without hiring a handyperson, there are some great DIY options available. Depending on your skills and experience, you have a few choices available.
Here are some of the best DIY garage ventilation options you can use in your home:
- Floor Fans
- Garage Door Vents
- Wall Vents
- Leaving windows and Doors Ajar
If your garage already has doors or windows installed, you can leave them slightly open. This will provide sufficient airflow for small garages, although it may leave you vulnerable to thieves. Floor Fans are another solution that requires no tools or equipment. All you’ve got to do is buy a fan and place it in your garage. Then find the right speed setting for your fan and leave it switched on to circulate air and enhance airflow.
Garage door vents can easily be installed; however, garage doors are made from a delicate material prone to cracking and bending. Wall vents are another DIY option, although this installation will require a drill capable of drilling through sidewalls, and the installation can be messy as well as difficult for homeowners who don’t have the right skills or tools.