You’re running your A/C almost constantly to beat the summer heat, but your house just won’t get comfortable. Furthermore, the top floor seems to have more moisture in the air than usual, leading to mold, mildew, and other problems.
You may be suffering from the stack effect. It happens when basic physics wreaks havoc on your HVAC system. Let’s take a closer look to see how we can prevent it and improve your home’s energy efficiency.
What is the Stack Effect?
Hot air rises, which is why the upper levels of your home tend to be warmer while the basement is cool. In the winter, warm air from your furnace rises up into your attic, escaping through cracks and air leaks there and leaving the cold, winter air to fill your house in its stead.
In summer, it’s reversed. Warm outdoor air fills your home, pushing the cold, conditioned air down into the basement, where it escapes through those cracks and leaks. The effect isn’t as severe in summer as it is in winter, but it still wastes energy, keeping your home from getting comfortable.
The stack effect occurs due to differences in air pressure between the outside and inside. The difference is especially pronounced when there’s more moisture in the air. Your HVAC system dehumidifies the air as it heats or cools it, and the higher pressure of the moist, outdoor air forces it outside. Thus, your upper floors especially are more likely to develop moisture problems due to the stack effect.
Overcoming the Stack Effect
The best way to keep conditioned air in your home is to seal any air leaks, especially in your attic and basement. Weatherstrip the doors, windows, and other openings. And a home energy audit can help you identify other places where air is escaping. Seal leaks with caulking or expanding foam sealant, and your energy efficiency will be greatly improved, keeping your home comfortable all year long.
To learn more about the stack effect and its impact on energy efficiency, contact us at Aggressive Mechanical today. We proudly serve Monmouth County’s HVAC needs.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Monmouth County, New Jersey and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).