Is Your Home Losing Warm Air Through the Stack Effect?

Stack EffectYou want more cool air in the home now that summer is around the corner. Of course, your home should be optimized to retain warm or cool air depending on the time of year. You should be sure your ventilation and air quality system are designed to address the stack effect. This is especially the case if you live in a multi-story home.

What Is the Stack Effect?

The stack effect is a common issue among skyscrapers, but it can also be a problem for two-story residences. It’s a phenomenon that causes warm air to funnel upwards much the same way air exits through a chimney.

The stack effect occurs when the outdoor temperature is drastically lower than it is indoors. Cold air is denser than warm air. As cold air enters the room from the bottom floor, it pushes the warm air higher where it escapes through cracks and other openings. This ultimately creates stronger drafts as more cold air enters the room in the absence of warm air. The loss of treated air forces the HVAC to work harder, thus running up your energy bill.

This air funneling effect explains why many skyscrapers have revolving doors. The airflow creates a suction that makes it difficult to open a door during a windy cold day.

How to Counteract the Stack Effect

The solution is simple: provide proper insulation. Insulation acts as a barrier that prevents warm air from leaking through any openings once it reaches the ceiling. Pay special attention to the insulation between the top floor and attic. Residences and facilities are also encouraged to update their HVAC systems.

Eliminate the Stack Effect

Contact All Points Heating to have us look at your air and water systems. The stack effect is not a major concern during this time of year, but it never hurts to make adjustments for all-season improvements.

Edited by Justin Vorhees

Improve Residential and Commercial Indoor Airflow

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