So, I'm looking to install a set of vents in my garage door for the summer months. I insulated it last winter without realizing how hit it would get with two hot cars in it! Not to mention it really keeps the heat!

The problem is, the garage has a high (~~12 ft) ceiling. The attic is another 2-5 ft of ceiling on top of that. Due to HOA rules, I can't install a gable vent low enough to provide a hot air escape from the garage. Additionally, I can only add the vents to the lowest section of the garage door. Since heat rises I get the feeling I'd only be cooling about 3ft above the floor without some form of hot air escape.

I've considered adding ceiling registers to the garage and ducting them directly to a rear gable vent fan, but if possible I'd like to kill two birds with one stone. I'd like to add the rear gable vent fan, and add vents between the garage an attic to supply cooler air. In this way, I'd pull air from the attic, which would pull air from the garage, which would pull air from the garage door vents.

So, all that being said, is there a proper way to add a vent between the attic and the garage? The attic already has soffit vents, so I'm not sure if I would have to close (some) of those off to keep the airflow rate the same.

  • 1
    Better check with local code to see if that is legal. I have the same (pulling air through the garage) and was suggesting to another person on this site and found out it is illegal in some states. I think it was about fire safety because of the vehicles being in the garage.
    – Ed Beal
    Jul 6, 2016 at 17:42
  • Also, what business does the HOA have setting the minimum height of gable vents? Jul 6, 2016 at 22:29
  • @ThreePhaseEel the same authority they use to make sure people don't collect rust bucket vehicles and make sure they now their lawns. :)
    – Sidney
    Jul 6, 2016 at 23:08
  • @Sidney -- not authority -- I'm asking "what on Earth is the HOA trying to accomplish with that regulation?" (Heaven help them if Code changes and their HOA regulations wind up contravening Code as a result) Jul 6, 2016 at 23:32

2 Answers 2


My understanding of building code relevant to the US is that an attached garage area must provide a fire barrier (not firewall) from any living space. A quick search shows how effective this regulation is at preventing relatively serious garage fires from engulfing a home. Piercing that fire block and providing a direct path to the attic is a terrible idea.

Consider applying for a variance with your HOA to allow for a garage vent. Spend a few dollars with an architect or contractor so you can include detailed design plans with your petition. Most HOA charters will require the board to either approve the variance or respond with necessary changes they would be willing to approve. I have never seen an HOA board outright deny a reasonable and detailed variance request.

It may cost a little more up front, but the results will ensure you can resell your home and could even save your life.


Here is a link to an example of a garage blower that vents to the attic but it has a fire dampener to make it legal. A little pricy but looks like it would work well.

http://www.homedepot.com/p/QuietCool-Energy-Saver-GA-ES-1500-Direct-Drive-Whole-House-Fan-for-Garage-with-Fire-Dampers-GA-ES-1500/206047382?gclid=Cj0KCQjwnubLBRC_ARIsAASsNNnnAo-7lewTzKdnqaWcogApM3PjBoni2dYIspeEsS4HDuxh089PNJ4aAul7EALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.dsenter image description hereenter image description here

  • I've been unable to locate a good image of the nameplate on this device to verify this is UL listed. I've asked a question on the Home Depot QA to try to verify. If it is not UL listed, it may still invalidate your homeowner's insurance. As long as this is listed, this is a pretty good find.
    – psaxton
    Aug 22, 2022 at 16:56

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