Danger of Running a Car in the Garage

While families enjoy hopping into a warm car during cold Winter months, Lifestyle Comfort Solutions warns of the danger of heating your car up in the garage. Here’s why you should never run your car in a garage any longer than it takes to back it out. Stay safe from carbon monoxide poisoning:

Leaving a Door Open Doesn’t Protect You

Even with the garage door open, a car running in the garage can build up enough carbon monoxide to kill. Cold engines running in Winter produce even higher levels of carbon monoxide than in Summer. The high concentrations of carbon monoxide produced by a car may cause victims to collapse so quickly that a person may be in a life threatening condition without realizing they are in danger.

Poison gas leaking into the house poses a serious threat. According to research completed by Iowa State University, just pulling the car into the garage emits enough carbon monoxide to trigger most detectors! Warming a car for just two minutes raises the CO level to a dangerous 500 ppm. Measurable concentrations may linger for as much as 10 hours. People working in the garage as much as 10 hours later remain in danger.

Much of the Air in Your Home Enters Through the Garage

A Minnesota study found that as much as 85% of the air leaking into your house comes from the garage. The carbon monoxide flowing from the garage may build up inside your home, but be too diluted to trigger the alarm on your family’s indoor CO detector. This tasteless, odorless, invisible, yet deadly gas takes more lives in Winter months than any other time of the year.

Carbon Monoxide is Deadly

Between 1999 and 2019 as many as 5, 149 deaths resulted from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning.  Men and women age 65+ are more at risk of death than any other group. 

Remember the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning:

  • Flu-like Symptoms: headache, fatigue, nausea, shortness of breath
  • High-Level Symptoms: mental confusion, vomiting, loss of muscular coordination, loss of consciousness

Don’t Be Fooled

First, placing a residential CO detector in the garage does not allow you to run your car in the garage. Residential detectors are not designed for garage conditions Second, it’s nearly impossible to form an air tight seal between the house and garage after a home is constructed. Don’t depend on air-seal barriers to protect you. Finally, even if you have no heat runs in the garage, there is still danger that poisoning will leak into your home.

Be safe this Winter.  Never run your car in the garage.  And, while you are at it, don’t run your snowblower in the enclosed garage either.

Lifestyle Comfort Solutions’ mission is to create homes and workplaces which are comfortable, safe, healthy, and energy efficient. You can learn more at www.lifestylecomfortsolutions.com to by calling us at 937.202.4520.

At Lifestyle Comfort Solutions, Season after Season, we’re committed to comfort.