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January 30, 2018
If you have trouble keeping your home heated or cooled, or if you feel your HVAC systems are running overtime and using too much energy, your home may be experiencing stack effect.
Stack effect, a common term among home energy professionals, may sound like a complicated science, but in fact, it’s easily explained. And once you understand it, you’ll also understand a few others things about your drafty dwelling!
What Is Stack Effect?
In order to understand stack effect, you need to remember that warm air rises and cold air sinks. When you heat the air in your Illinois or Frankfort, IL, home, it will rise until it’s stopped. Cool air in summer will sink down as far as it can.
Now, let’s say your attic is not air sealed or well insulated. You turn up the thermostat to get warm on a cold winter day, the air heats up, and then it heads toward to top of your house. Because your home isn’t air sealed or well insulated, there’s nothing to stop that warm air from continuing right out through your roof, through the many gaps and cracks that naturally develop in all homes. Since the warm air was not contained in your living area (often referred to as the thermal envelope) your heating system will continue running to replace it, using more energy and fuel and costing you plenty.
But wait, there’s more! When that heated air leaves through your roof, cold outside air is sucked in through gaps and cracks in the lower levels, around doors and windows, vents and plumbing, to replace it. The colder it is outside, the quicker this happens, causing drafts that can make it impossible for you to feel comfortable.
This is the stack effect. And those leaks will affect your comfort in summer, too, when your under-insulated attic heats your upper floors while your cool, conditioned air flows out the same spaces where cold air was pulled in all winter.
Stop Stack Effect with Air Sealing and Insulation
Now that you know what’s happening, it’s easy to see how air sealing and insulation can stop stack effect, increase your home’s comfort and drastically reduce your energy bills all year long.
Air sealing ensures that all those gaps and cracks, whether created when your home was built, or appearing over time with shifting and settling, are filled. These leaks are located using a blower door test together with infrared cameras. Once the leaks are filled, warm air can no longer escape through your roof in winter and cold air can’t escape in summer.
Insulation works with air sealing to ensure heat stays in during the winter and out during the summer. Once your HVAC system conditions your living space, it can stop working for a while, prolonging its life and conserving fuel for lower energy bills.
Take Action Today
Don’t spend another year trying hopelessly to get comfortable and paying too much for utilities. Call the insulation experts at Assured Insulation Solutions to find out how you can stop stack effect in your home. We’ll perform a home energy audit, taking a whole-house approach and use state-of-the-art tools to determine exactly where your home’s inefficiencies are so you’ll know just what steps you can take to improve your home’s performance.
The energy efficiency experts at Assured Insulation will guide you every step of the way, from audit to installation and finding any available rebates and incentives. So don’t wait—your comfortable, energy-efficient home is just a phone call away.