Air flows from your HVAC unit, through your ducts, and into your home. What happens to the air after that, though? Why is it hotter in some places and colder in others? What about air leaks? Understanding air movement is important if you want to save energy in your home.
The Stack Effect
Hot air is less dense than cold air, which is what causes heat to rise. This difference in density also leads to a difference in air pressure, causing something called the stack effect, which is air being pushed out of or pulled into a place. This effect is what causes smoke to rise from your chimney when a fire is lit. It can also affect the rest of your house.
In winter, as you run your furnace, the hot air rises, escaping through your attic. In summer, cold air from your AC, being denser than the hot, ambient air, sinks to the ground. It then fills the crawl space beneath your house before it actually starts cooling your home.
Both of these issues waste energy, greatly increasing the amount of time it takes for your HVAC system to bring your home to its target temperature. This is why insulation is so important — both in your attic and in your crawl space — to slow the flow of heat and keep it inside your home as long as possible.
Even if your home is well insulated, you can still experience problems with air movement. When you run your HVAC system, it causes a difference in pressure between the air inside your house and the air outside.
In summer, this pressure difference causes the cold AC air to leak out of your house. In winter, the cold outdoor air will leak in, so it takes longer to heat. Have your HVAC technician perform an energy audit on your home to find the air leaks in your home and seal them, maintaining your home’s indoor temperature more effectively and saving energy.
To learn more about air movement and your HVAC system, contact us at Aggressive Mechanical Contractors. We’re the trusted source for Monmouth County’s home-comfort needs.