Craft Room Considerations: Proper Ventilation

Craft Room Considerations: Proper VentilationDifferent spaces in a home have different ventilation needs. If your house includes a craft or hobby room, or an artist’s studio, air quality issues specific to these activities may call for special methods to keep the indoor environment healthy and comfortable. Simply running a ceiling fan or turning on the A/C isn’t sufficient to reduce potential airborne toxins and irritants to levels that meet today’s indoor air quality standards.

Some potential air quality issues include:

  • Turpentine and mineral spirits to thin oil paints and for cleaning brushes may release fumes including volatile organic compounds (VOCs)..
  • Many aerosol spray paints contain toxic pigments.
  • Certain glues used in craft works, particularly cyanoacrylate (CA) types generically know as “super glue” also release vapors and come with cautionary instructions to avoid inhalation.
  • Clay used for ceramics contains very fine silica. During the mixing process, silica may become airborne and be inhaled. Chronic silica inhalation has been linked to lung illnes.

Two options are commonly suggested for ventilating craft rooms:

  • Cross-ventilation. Also known as dilution, this method inducts a volume of fresh outdoor air to dilute pollutants, while also continuously exhausting air from the room. Window fans on opposite sides of the room—one pulling fresh air in, the other blowing indoor air out—may be utilized. However, basic consumer-grade box fans typically don’t move enough air for effective cross-ventilation. In this case larger industrial-grade fans with higher CFM (cubic feet per minute) rating should be used. While effective for reducing fumes and vapors, dilution does not remove most dust or other particulates.
  • Exhaust ventilation utilizes a ceiling-mounted exhaust fan that pulls air out of the room and conveys it through a dedicated duct to the exterior of the home. This method effectively removes dust and particulates in addition to fumes. A separate passive intake vent incorporating a filter allows fresh replacement air to enter the room as stale air is removed.

Ask the air quality professionals at Paitson Bros. about custom ventilation solutions for special spaces like craft rooms. We’ve been keeping the indoor environment healthy for Wabash County homeowners since 1922.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Terre Haute, Indiana about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 812-645-6859. 

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