If your Michigan home has poor energy efficiency, it can affect your comfort, energy costs, and even your indoor air quality. Things like drafty rooms or cold floors are two signs of what is called the stack—or chimney—effect.
The stack effect refers to a building science concept that leads to heat loss and inefficient energy usage. While it is fairly common, the stack effect can be minimized. At WMGB Home Improvement, we understand the importance of maintaining a comfortable home. Our team of experts can help you fix the stack effect in your Kalamazoo home.
What is the Stack Effect?
The stack effect in houses is the movement of air as it reacts to imbalances in pressure. Temperature differences between indoor and outdoor air, the height of a home, and the amount of air leakage in a home all work together to create it. The stack effect happens throughout all seasons of the year, though it is most noticeable when the temperature difference is the greatest, like the winter months.
How Stack Effect Works
Hot air is less dense than cold air, causing it to rise. In the winter, warm air rises to the upper levels of a home where it pressurizes. If there are leaks for the warm air to escape, it is forced out. This causes a vacuum effect where cold air then enters through the home’s lower levels to replace the missing warm air. As that cold air is warmed by your HVAC, it rises and the stack effect repeats. In the summer, the stack effect is reversed. Warm air will enter the home through the top, forcing the cooler air out through a home’s lower levels. Some common symptoms of stack effect are:
- Drafty rooms
- High heating & cooling bills
- Uneven room temperatures
How to Fix Stack Effects in a House
If your Grand Rapids home is showing the symptoms of stack effect, the most effective way to repair it is to start by finding and sealing the leaks where air is being transferred. Performing a home energy audit will help you discover where the air gaps and leaks are so you can get started on sealing them.
Unwanted outdoor air coming into your home can cause more than just a stack effect. Humidity and moisture also come in, which can cause mold growth and damage to the structure of your Grand Haven home. Air sealing will reduce the amount of airflow and create a healthier living environment with even temperatures. With a properly sealed home, your HVAC system will also work less, lowering your energy bills. Overall a win-win.
Attic spaces are where warm air escapes from a home the most, making it crucial to seal off in order to prevent the stack effect. Air sealing and attic insulation work best when used together to combat unwanted airflow in your home. Even if you already have insulation in your attic, upgrading it and combining it with air sealing can also help with pest control and prevent ice dams in the winter.
Stop the Stack Effect with WMGB
Our team of building scientists is committed to helping you boost your Michigan home’s performance. With our air sealing and attic insulation services, you can stop the stack effect, lower your energy bills, and start living more comfortably.
You can now save even more on energy efficient upgrades with several rebates and incentives. There’s no better time to start improving your home’s comfort!Get started with a home energy audit. Call 616-226-5558 or contact us online.