Outdoor cold or hot temperatures can do a number on indoor living conditions especially if you are seeing signs of the stack effect in your house. The good thing is that you can easily remedy common insulation problems to ensure that your home remains well ventilated and indoor temperatures are regulated for optimum safety and comfort no matter what the season is.
Read on to know about a common phenomenon called the stack effect and how you can prevent this from happening in your home.
The Stack Effect: What is it?
The stack effect happens when during the colder seasons, warm indoor air rises up to the top floors and attic of a home. It escapes through the gaps in the ceiling and roof and flows outside. Warm air moves in this direction because it is lighter than cold air, which tends to flow and stay in the lower levels of the home. As warm air escapes, cold air flows in to take its place, keeping the lower living areas in the home cool.
The stack effect happens in the summer and the winter but it can be more pronounced in winter. During colder months, temperatures outside can get low, increasing the temperature differences between indoor and outdoor spaces. The stack effect is also more pronounced in taller homes, especially in homes where problems with insulation and sealing already exist.
Reverse Stack Effect
In the summer, this movement of air is called the reverse stack effect. Heavier cold air falls to the lower level while hot warm air floats to the roof, increasing temperatures in the higher levels of the home and the attic. This means that your home may feel warmer even if your cooling system is working.
How the Stack Effect Affects Your Fort Collins Home
Reduced Energy Efficiency
The most obvious result of the stack effect in any home is reduced energy efficiency. As warm air flows out of the home and is replaced by colder air, the natural thing to do is to adjust the thermostat to restore warm indoor air. This leads to higher heating bills and a heater that works harder than it should. This is the same thing in the summer when cold air drops and escapes through the crawl spaces leaving a vacuum in the upper spaces of the house. This vacuum then pulls hot air through the attic and windows, causing you to overwork your air conditioner which leads to premature wear and tear.
Fluctuations in heating and cooling also contribute to comfort problems. You may feel cold drafts especially along exterior walls and in the basement. The floors directly above your basement may be colder than the rest of the house.
The stack effect can also cause visible damage to any home. Open crawl spaces, loose windows, and broken doors can allow increased airflow and bring humid air into the home causing condensation. When this happens for long periods it can raise the indoor humidity and allow mold and mildew to grow especially on dark and damp surfaces.
The stack effect can also damage your wallpaper, wooden fixtures, walls, and foundation. When condensation occurs, moist air is pushed into wall cavities and promotes the growth of mold and decay.
Cold air can travel through mold, damp and dark crawl spaces, and spread mold and mildew around the home. This can lead to health issues like allergies, breathing difficulties, headaches, and other symptoms of mold inhalation.
How to Prevent the Stack Effect in Fort Collins Colorado
The good thing is that there are ways to prevent the stack effect from wreaking havoc in your home. These include:
- sealing air leaks and gaps in the walls, ceiling, insulation, etc.
- repairing improperly installed windows and doors
- sealing cracks in the foundation
- proper insulation
- proper ventilation
Fort Collins Air Sealing
No home is truly airtight and sealed, even the newest homes. Gaps in improperly installed doors and windows, as well as small leaks in the ceiling, can lead to the air flowing in and out. Repair improperly installed doors and windows and seal in cracks especially in the attic and in the crawlspace. Perform regular examinations in common problem areas to detect new leaks and cracks as early as possible. Attic sealing is especially important. According to experts, attic sealing paired with the right insulation can cut energy costs in half.
Proper ventilation can also help reduce the stack effect in your home. Self-regulating vents, pressure-sensitive vents, and even fans can help redistribute heat away from the ceiling to maintain a stable indoor temperature.
Insulation In Fort Collins Colorado
Proper insulation ensures that warm air stays indoors in the winter and cool air stays indoors during the summer. The right insulation can prevent drastic changes in the indoor temperature and can maintain the right level of comfort for you and your family.
If you are seeing the signs of the stack effect in your home, it is better to call the pros right away. A professional insulation team can conduct an energy audit and inspect for leaks and cracks to determine what areas need repairs and improvements. A professional insulation team can do a thorough examination so you will know what steps to take to improve the energy efficiency in your home. These include updating your insulation or installing fans for optimum ventilation.
By working with a professional crew you ensure that you are getting the right improvements to prevent the stack effect. By sealing air leaks and cracks, installing adequate installation, and facilitating ventilation you maintain optimum airflow and energy efficiency in your home.
Get in touch with your local insulation professionals today.
Stack Effect Fort Collins CO
As you can see, when dealing with a stack effect in your home, consulting with a professional is the best option. There are a lot of factors to consider when it concerns ventilation or insulation problems. Ascend Construction specializes in insulation services, energy conservation, energy audits, whole house fan installations, and more in Fort Collins, Colorado, and the neighboring areas.
Contact Ascend Construction for a free consultation today. We can provide you with practical solutions to address the problem areas in your Fort Collins home. All of our services are affordable and our work is guaranteed. Click here to contact us or click the button below to give Ascend Construction a call. We offer free, no-obligation, in-home consultations.