Exhaust ventilation in attached garages improves residential indoor air quality

Journal article


Mallach, Gary, St-Jean, Melissa, MacNeill, Morgan, Aubin, Daniel G., Wallace, Lance, Shin, Tin, Van Ryswyk, Keith, Kulka, Ryan H., You, Hongyu, Fugler, Don W., Lavigne, Eric and Wheeler, Amanda. (2017) Exhaust ventilation in attached garages improves residential indoor air quality. Indoor Air: international journal of indoor air quality and climate. 27(2), pp. 487 - 499. https://doi.org/10.1111/ina.12321
AuthorsMallach, Gary, St-Jean, Melissa, MacNeill, Morgan, Aubin, Daniel G., Wallace, Lance, Shin, Tin, Van Ryswyk, Keith, Kulka, Ryan H., You, Hongyu, Fugler, Don W., Lavigne, Eric and Wheeler, Amanda
Abstract

Previous research has shown that indoor benzene levels in homes with attached garages are higher than homes without attached garages. Exhaust ventilation in attached garages is one possible intervention to reduce these concentrations. To evaluate the effectiveness of this intervention, a randomized crossover study was conducted in 33 Ottawa homes in winter 2014. VOCs including benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylenes, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, and air exchange rates were measured over four 48‐hour periods when a garage exhaust fan was turned on or off. A blower door test conducted in each garage was used to determine the required exhaust fan flow rate to provide a depressurization of 5 Pa in each garage relative to the home. When corrected for ambient concentrations, the fan decreased geometric mean indoor benzene concentrations from 1.04 to 0.40 μg/m3, or by 62% (P<.05). The garage exhaust fan also significantly reduced outdoor‐corrected geometric mean indoor concentrations of other pollutants, including toluene (53%), ethylbenzene (47%), m,p‐xylene (45%), o‐xylene (43%), and carbon monoxide (23%) (P<.05) while having no impact on the home air exchange rate. This study provides evidence that mechanical exhaust ventilation in attached garages can reduce indoor concentrations of pollutants originating from within attached garages.

Keywordsattached garages; BTEX; indoor air quality; infiltration; mechanical ventilation; residential intervention
Year2017
JournalIndoor Air: international journal of indoor air quality and climate
Journal citation27 (2), pp. 487 - 499
PublisherWiley-Blackwell
ISSN0905-6947
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1111/ina.12321
Scopus EID2-s2.0-85013466889
Open accessOpen access
Page range487 - 499
Research GroupMary MacKillop Institute for Health Research
Publisher's version
License
Place of publicationUnited States of America
EditorsW. Nazaroff
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