What is Stack Effect?

What is Stack Effect

Imagine all the wonderful air outside creating an airstream that moves from the basement of your home up to the attic.

Isn’t it a great idea to bring fresh air into your house with all the air movement?

In the winter, it is not. You don’t want this kind of air flow in your house at any time. This leads to higher energy bills, because you cannot regulate the temperature in your home. It also makes it uncomfortable.

The stack effect is the movement of air from the bottom to the top of your house. According to My Home Science, warm air escapes from the top of the home and causes outside air to enter the lower part.

Sunlight Contractors has worked with New Orleans homeowners for years to help them create the air seals they need to prevent outside air from entering their homes.

We want to continue to educate our homeowners. Let’s examine how the stack-effect occurs and how you can fix it.

What is the Stack Effect?

Stack effect is the air movement which can have a negative impact on your monthly energy bills as well as comfort levels in your home.

Air enters through the crawlspace or basement and then moves through the floors and walls to reach your attic. It is the cold air during the winter, and the hot air during the summer, that causes extra stress on your AC unit or furnace.

The air entering your home will increase the pressure in the house. This air pressure will find any way out, taking with it your conditioned air.

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Problems with Stack Effect

The stack effect can be a problem if your home is tall.

The more air pressure you have, the quicker the air will move before it hits the attic insulation. Insulation like cellulose and fiberglass blown in will be pushed on either side of your attic.

You will lose a lot more air if you do not have attic insulation.

You may have already experienced air leaking into your attic through cracks, crevices, and moisture. You have air coming from all directions, including the roof.

There is a lot of air moving in your attic. This will cause moisture problems, leading to mildew and mold growth. It can also damage any insulation that you may have installed. Spray foam insulation is the only type of insulation that will not be damaged by this situation.

How to fix the stack effect in buildings

Creating an air seal is the simplest way to fix the stack effect.

You want to make sure that air never has the chance to find its way into your home.

The air will flow from the foundation where it enters, to the roof where it leaves. Spray foam insulation can create an air seal that surrounds your entire living area. We call it the building envelope.

Remember that air sealing your walls will only increase the stacking effect. In this case, it is best to air seal your entire house.

When you air seal a crawl space you won’t have the air from the bottom coming in, which is a major source of the stack effect. air sealing your exterior walls will also seal the outlets and windows, preventing air from entering. If you seal the building envelope of your home by blocking air from entering and leaking out of your attic then you will stop any leakage.

The air seal will improve your home’s comfort and energy efficiency, resulting in lower monthly energy costs.

Is your home in need of updated insulation?

Now you understand how the stack effect impacts your home comfort and energy efficiency.Did you know that other factors that affect your home’s insulation can make it less comfortable and cost you more money? Contact Sunlight Contractors today for a home energy audit.

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