Don't overlook ventilation in other rooms

| by Patrick Nielsen
Don't overlook ventilation in other rooms

We talk a lot about ventilation for kitchens and bathrooms. Of course, it's important for those rooms to have adequate air flow to manage moisture and odors.  But other rooms in the house need fresh air flow, too.

Let's look at ventilation considerations for some of the other rooms in the house.


The average person spends six to 10 hours of each day in our bedrooms. You need fresh airflow but opening windows may not always be the best option. Today, distribution of fresh air to bedrooms is a requirement of most green housing programs and can be accomplished with exhaust and supply fans, heat and energy recovery ventilators, or distribution through the forced-air heating system. If you have an existing home, ceiling fans and floor fans can circulate the air, or consider a through-the-wall ventilation fan for more airflow.


If your garage is like mine, it's an obvious source of pollution — from unhealthy odors from cars, garden chemicals and other stored items to deadly carbon monoxide. It can be worse in the winter when we like to leave doors closed as much as possible, and may start the car in the garage to warm it up. Of course, if you start the car while it's in the garage make sure the door is open, no matter how cold it is.

When the entry door between the garage and house is open, there is a risk that contaminants may enter. An exhaust fan activated by garage door activity will help ensure that the extra load of pollutants generated when a car enters or leaves does not enter the home.

Air should be exhausted for at least 20 minutes after a car has entered or left the garage to make sure that exhaust fumes are removed. Any combustion heating systems in the garage like a gas furnace or gas water heater that are not completely sealed need to be supplied with make-up air.

For spot ventilation problem areas like these in an existing home, use exhaust fans to collect and remove pollutants before they spread. The exhaust fan is generally turned on only when the source is producing pollutants. Bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms all contain obvious sources of moisture and odors. Spot ventilation may also be appropriate for home offices, hobby rooms, or workshops.

Topics: Ventilation

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