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Insulation and Fighting the Stack Effect

Updated: Sep 29


What is the Stack Effect?

The Stack Effect sometimes referred to as the chimney effect, is the natural heat transfer that occurs throughout buildings. If you have a multi-story home, this phenomenon is happening all around you and your loved ones daily.

Air enters your home through crawl spaces or basements, travels up through your floors and walls, and exits through your attic. Without proper insulation, this cycle of air loss and intake throughout your home will have your HVAC system working harder than ever. If not properly managed, the Stack Effect results in excessive energy bills and inconsistent temperatures.


How the Stack Effect Works

The Stack Effect is controlled by two variables: A building's height, and the difference between inside and outside temperatures. The greater the difference between the two, and the taller the building, the greater the pressure created. Warm air has a lower density than cool air, causing it to rise to the upper levels of a building. This pressure causes cooler air to be pushed to the bottom of the home. While warm air rising may seem beneficial during long winter nights, it won't stay put once it gets to your bedroom ceiling. Most homes have many holes, gaps, or leaks for warm air to escape. To make matters worse, any warm air that leaks from the top of your home are replaced by cool air sucked in from the bottom. During the warmer months, the Stack Effect is reversed. Cool air tends to fall and get forced out through the bottom of your home, allowing hot air to enter from the top. If this cycle is left unchecked, it will inevitably begin to strain your air conditioner and furnace.


The Stack Effect Can Also Cause Moisture Damage

As outside air creeps into your home, so does moisture. As more moisture circulates in your home, your chances of mold and mildew growth increase. This is only one of many concerns that arise if your crawlspace has too much moisture.


How to Reduce the Stack Effect in Your Home

The best way to reduce the Stack Effect is to seal any air gaps in your home. This can be accomplished by having your home professionally insulated. Not only will this make your home more comfortable, but it also increases your home's energy efficiency, reduces your carbon footprint, and helps lower monthly utility bills.


Don’t settle for an uncomfortable home and high energy bills. If you need professional crawlspace, attic, or basement insulation installation, give the experts at Crawlspace Solutions a call. We can guide you through the best insulation for your home. Learn more today at 1-800-411-0335!

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