Where Should a Fan be Placed in a Garage?
If you're building or renovating a garage, one of the things you will need to know is where to put the ventilation fans. The answer depends on things like whether the garage is above-ground or below, what the garage is being used for, and where the fans are physically able to go. Here are some things to consider when deciding on the details of your fan installation plan:
If the Garage is a Stand-Alone Building
Many auto mechanics have stand-alone buildings with all four walls leading directly to the outside. In these cases, wall-mounted garage exhaust fans are the most obvious choice. These work well because such garages have plenty of wall space. They're also easy to obtain. Several manufacturers make them, such as Canarm fans for garages.
Some garages, however, are used for things other than cars. If you have converted one into a painting area or other such facility, you may find that fumes rise up near the ceiling and then hang there. In that case, ceiling-mounted fans for garage use are excellent choices. These can be used alone, or you may need to add one or two to supplement the wall fans.
If the Garage is One Unit in a Strip
Some auto shops are set up in strip malls. While this has some great business advantages, such as high visibility to existing retail traffic, it poses challenges when outfitting their buildings. Unless the shop is in one of the end units, it will only have one truly usable exterior wall. The front will be the storefront, which leaves only the back for wall fans.
In that case, ceiling-mounted fans are often the only viable options. You may need more than one due to the lack of cross-ventilation inherent in this architectural situation.
If the Garage is Underground
Underground garages need special garage fans due to the lack of any direct access to the outside. They must be connected to ducts that lead to fresh air, and you'll need at least two: One to exhaust the stale air, and another to bring in the new air. Larger structures will need multiples of each, as well as interior fans to blow from the fresh air vents to the outgoing ones.
Since underground garages are usually for parking large numbers of cars, there is a lot of vehicle exhaust to get rid of. Therefore, the fans they use also have to be quite powerful. Carbon monoxide monitors should also be used to control fan operation so that safety is assured.
It's Not All About Exhaust Fans
To ensure that a ventilation system is effective, it should always include a way to bring fresh air in as well as one for getting rid of stale air. Use a ventilation fan to pull in outside air to make up for the air that the exhaust fans push out. This will do much to keep the air in your garage breathable.