Having a workshop at home for repairs and home improvements can be a delight for many homeowners.
Breathing in a lot of dust or chemicals as a result of these projects is an unfortunate possibility that could even be life-threatening. The ability to remove contaminants takes ventilation, which may be built into the workshop or added on after the fact. With this information, homeowners will be able to identify their ventilation needs and choose from a few options that will help them clear the air and keep it fresh.
Why Ventilation Is Necessary
Indoor air quality is often worse than the air outside, and for good reason. Without adequate fresh air, pollutants can linger in an indoor space much longer than they might in the outdoors. Providing good ventilation for a home workshop involves more than just cycling the air after someone works with fume-creating chemicals. Sometimes, the tools themselves can create a dangerous byproduct that must be removed, like carbon monoxide. Ventilation needs vary based on the layout of the space and the activities of the homeowner using it.
Common Ventilation Types for the Home
There are a few different ways that people try to ventilate a space in their home workshop. If the room has a window or an exterior door, they can leave it open to allow fresh air to circulate. They may choose an air cleaner to draw allergens or debris out of the air, although air cleaners usually do not remove gaseous byproducts or exhaust. The gold standard is the ventilation system that comes as a part of the home’s central heating and cooling. This setup draws air from outside, filters it and circulates it through each room connected by the ductwork. For individual rooms, you can get different types of exhaust fans such as bathroom exhaust fans, RV vent fan, range hoods for your stove, or attic fans, which cool your attic to help keep the rest of your home cooler in hot weather.
Staying Safe While Working
Avoiding contamination should be a primary goal for the workshop, and people may need stronger equipment to achieve that. Some homeowners may try to get by using a simple box or tabletop fan to circulate the air. They should keep in mind that fans that do not connect to a system that filters air or cycles it from an exterior supply may not be able to remove dangerous chemicals from the air. As people spend time in the workshop, they should pay close attention to the fumes and exhaust created by their work. If the ventilation seems inadequate, or if they start to feel lightheaded, dizzy, or sick, they should leave the room immediately and invest in better exhaust methods, such as a commercial exhaust fan. When installing an exhaust fan, placement is key to helping it operate at the best capacity.
Choosing the Best Option
The type of ventilation that people may want to choose relates to their air management objectives.Someone with a hydroponic garden or a grow tent may need an inline duct fan, while someone who has an electric machine that produces sawdust may want a fan and a high-quality air cleaner to remove the particulates out of the air. They might not need more than that. A person who works with volatile organic compounds such as paint needs, at a minimum, to open a window and turn on a fan to cycle the air. Homeowners who use a gas-powered heater or other fuel-powered equipment should consider installing a ventilation system specifically for the room, according to manufacturer specifications. No matter what system people choose, they should use it consistently and be prepared to upgrade if necessary.
A home workshop could provide endless hours of opportunity and entertainment for homeowners, if they take the safe route. With a firm grasp of ventilation and its role in improving indoor air quality, people can better ensure that their work never comes at the cost of their health.