Improperly Sealed Garage May Leak Carbon Monoxide Into Your Tulsa-Area Home

When you have an attached garage, there’s always a risk of carbon monoxide (CO) entering your home through the door that connects your home to the garage. Another less visible source of CO coming into your home lies at the wall that connects the garage and the house or an attic hatch in your garage. 

A study conducted by the Canadian government found that homes with attached garages had traces of benzene inside them, a byproduct of gasoline. Parking your car or other fuel-burning appliances like a lawn mower or snow blower can bring CO into your home. Besides the hazards of CO and byproducts from gas or diesel, storing yard chemicals or paints and solvents can also degrade your indoor air quality.

In order to avoid having hazardous chemicals from the garage in your indoor air, employ these strategies to cut the risk:

  • Check the weatherstripping on the adjoining door and replace it if it’s worn. Removing the residue from the old weatherstripping will give you a tighter seal when you apply the fresh product.
  • Inspect the sill and joist plates in the garage. Fill any cracks or crevices with caulk. If you have pipes, wires or cables that enter your home from the garage, look closely to be sure that there are no gaps that could bring in carbon monoxide. Anytime your HVAC system turns on, it could pull air through those points. Seal them with caulk or expanding foam if they’re larger.
  • Look at the seal between the attic hatch and the ceiling in your garage. If your home has a forced air HVAC system and you have leaks in the ductwork, it’s possible for the ducts to pull CO out of the garage and into your home. If your attic hatch isn’t sealed, apply weatherstripping to tighten the connection or install an attic tent.

If you would like more information about the hazards of CO and an attached garage, or would like your ductwork tested for leaks, contact Air Assurance Heating, Air Conditioning & Geothermal. We’ve provided HVAC services for the Broken Arrow region since 1985.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area 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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