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Install a Timer Exhaust Fan in the Garage

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Dennis in California needs some help installing an exhaust fan. Tell us about your project.

    DENNIS: Well, I’ve got an idea to put an exhaust fan in the garage so that when I pull the car in in the summertime and the garage door opener, the light comes on and stays on for about whatever, 10 minutes or so – it seems like forever (Leslie chuckles) – instead of having that light on to have it power the fan so that…

    TOM: Why?

    DENNIS: Well, because the heat from the car then (Tom chuckles), as you drive the car in after a trip would be exhausted – some of it would be exhausted out. We use it for our office.

    LESLIE: You sit at your desk next to your car?

    DENNIS: Yes.

    TOM: Ah. This is an unusual garage. (Leslie and Dennis chuckle) So you basically drive right to the office. Is that what you’re saying, Dennis? (all chuckle)

    DENNIS: Absolutely.

    LESLIE: Wait, do you actually get in your car, drive around the block and then pull back in just so you can be like, “I’m here at work?”

    DENNIS: Well no, but I’ve thought about that to heat the garage. (he and Leslie chuckle) Which I would disconnect the exhaust fan during the winter.

    TOM: If you’re running this fan it might help to cool the heat from the engine a bit quicker, but have you ever thought about simply pulling the car like up to the house and leaving it out of the garage for that 10 minutes? (Dennis laughs) That might be – probably make a bit more sense.

    DENNIS: No, my wife, she has to get in and shut the door as quickly as possible.

    TOM: Well, listen, when you get into the garage – and you should probably not shut the door immediately behind you because if the car’s still running you’re going to build up a bit of carbon monoxide there. But aside from those safety issues, that light is not designed to power a motor but I’m sure there’s a timing circuit that you could put on that would do just that.

    DENNIS: Exactly. Thank you.

    TOM: You know, a motion sensor would probably do it as well; an oc sensor that activates – maybe positioned so it just hits the car and it turns on the fan for the 10 minutes and then goes off and that’s that.

    DENNIS: Huh. A what kind of sensor?

    LESLIE: An occupancy.

    TOM: It’s called an oc sensor. An occupancy sensor. Have you ever gone into a bathroom …

    DENNIS: Oh, yeah. I see, yeah.

    TOM: … and then you walk in the door and the light comes on?

    DENNIS: Oh yeah, right.

    TOM: Yeah, an occupancy sensor. See? Didn’t think of that, did you?

    LESLIE: Instead of like you walking in the bathroom, it’s your car going in the garage.

    TOM: Plus, it’s quirky and high-tech enough to fit right in with this home improvement scheme you’ve got. (Leslie and Dennis chuckle)

    Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

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