Q: I’ve heard that a home’s heating system should not be installed inside a garage. Is this true and why?

A: TRUE. When building new homes, homebuyers today are increasingly showing concern about the indoor air quality (IAC) of homes available. There is worry about pollutants like carbon monoxide and toxic chemicals getting into their indoor air from the exhaust of a car. So your question about whether to install a heating system inside a garage is a good one. The answer is to NOT place the heating unit inside the garage. Poor indoor air quality because of heating system placement has been linked with a host of health problems by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

To provide for better IAC, builders have many techniques and construction practices to decrease the risk of poor IAC in a new home. The idea behind not placing a heating system in the garage comes from tracing air pulled into the system and re-distributed throughout the home via the duct system. Carbon monoxide is known to cause headaches, dizziness, nausea and fatigue. We know that cars’ exhaust systems produce carbon monoxide, so placing the heating system in the garage can create a situation where air from a car’s exhaust can get into your home through your ducts. Placing a heating unit in the garage is no longer the best practice.

Last week, we discussed about builders closing off duct work in the home during construction to keep the ducts clear. This is as important to building sustainably and creates an environment where a home can be healthy for at least the next 100 years. I encourage homebuyers to request testing and validation documents from their builder. You may want to learn more about commissioned homes which provide documentation from a third party that a home, its systems and appliances operate as designed and constructed. The process ensures comfort, reliability, energy and safety. Any experienced green builder can provide you with options for varying levels within a budget to build a home.

Please submit your questions to jon@quailhomes.com or call me direct at 360.907.5800. Tune into Green Building with Jon Girod on 1550 a.m. on Saturdays at 9 a.m. or 860 a.m. at 2 p.m. and check back next week.

Please submit questions to jon@quailhomes.com Jon can be reached direct at 360.907.5800. Tune into Green Building with Jon Girod on 1550 a.m. on Saturdays at 9 am. See you next week!