There is a natural phenomenon that occurs in your home which can render your heating or cooling efforts ineffective. The phenomenon is called the stack effect, and if you don’t take measures to keep it in check, your home interior will never be as comfortable as you want it to be, and you’ll be paying more on utility bills—possibly even overworking your HVAC system as well.
The stack effect can represent a significant issue to an Alabama homeowner. Your Foley, AL HVAC professionals wants you to know more about it so you can take measures to keep its effects minimal.
What is the stack effect?
The stack effect—also known as the chimney effect—occurs when the entire house acts as one big chimney, pushing warm air upwards and out of the home. The phenomenon relies on the basic natural law that warm air rises and cool air sinks, so when cold air enters the home, warm air is displaced to the top. The taller the home, the greater the stack effect will be.
When it becomes an issue
Once the stack effect starts, the airflow that pushes warm air out and pulls cold air in can only get stronger. This puts a lot of stress on your home furnace, because your heating unit will struggle to reach the desired temperature. Unfortunately, your problem only gets worse from here.
Aside from your HVAC system, the stack effect also puts additional pressure on weather stripping as well as any cracks and deteriorated masonry in your household. Facing constant pressure, these tiny leak sources can become larger. When this happens, the air transfer intensifies, and your energy loss problem becomes harder to control.
Curbing the stack effect
The good news is that stopping the stack effect in its tracks isn’t that difficult. All that you need to do is to locate all sources of air leaks and seal them. Once that’s done, you’ll enjoy a more comfortable home interior, not to mention utility bills that make sense.
YourFoley, AL HVAC professionals share with you some valuable tips to take care of the stack effect problem you may be experiencing in your home.
Start at the bottom
As mentioned, you need to locate all air leak entry points and seal them. Since cold air enters at the bottom, start at your home’s first floor, then work your way to the floor above, and so on. Replace any worn weather stripping. Seal small cracks with caulk. For larger ones, use expanding foam. Check for not-so-obvious locations of air leaks including electrical outlets and lighting systems.
If you have a basement, check the rim joist, which is the part of the first floor that rests on the foundation. The rim joist is a common source for air leaks, and thus must be sealed.
Insulate your home
Insulating your home can help prevent heat loss as well as protect your home from pest infestation, which makes it a sound investment that is likely to pay for itself quickly.
For any HVAC-related concerns, get in touch with a trusted Foley, AL HVAC company such as Island Air Conditioning and Heating Inc.
The Chimney or Stack Effect Explained, BrightHubEngineering.com
Who Knew the Stack Effect Could Be So Controversial?, EnergyVanguard.com