Stack Effect & Reverse in Houses & Tall, High Rise Buildings in Manhattan, NY this Summer

Heat can move up, down or sideways and all depends on what’s happening. Heat will move from areas where the temperature is higher to areas where the temperature is lower. It can be a little confusing when it comes to the heat inside a building. Warm air will rise when it’s around cold air because it’s less dense and while that is because of heat, density is the more important factor that is causing the air to move in this situation. This is called the stack effect. The house won’t start to float away, but the lower density air inside it will and find a way outside. There are two factors that will make a difference in how this effect works in a building, the temperature difference between the inside and the outside and the height of the building.

Summer Reverse Stack Effect in Buildings

Hot air rises and cold air sinks. The stack effect reverses in the summer. During the summer, we want our homes to be nice and cool. The stack effect will push or pull air through the attic of a home and the crawlspace. While in the winter the heated warm air is less dense (lighter) than the colder air outside, the warm air in the home will naturally want to rise up and out. The flow of air that escapes at the top of the building will pull cold air in through the bottom of the building. When the summer arrives and the temperatures are hot outside this effect reverses. The hot air outside of a building with AC will push the cooler air inside down from the ceiling and out the cracks in the basement. This can cause problems with moisture on the top floor. Homes aren’t vacuum chambers and all have leaks. When a building is leaky it can use tremendous amounts of energy. These leaks will lead to condensation and will compromise the air quality in the home.

Stack Effect Costs Money

The summer heat can be oppressive. We switch our air conditioners on to make our homes a comfortable place to be and the stack effect starts to work right away. The HVAC system works very hard to create that cool air. If the stack effect is taking a hold, then you’re wasting energy and your energy bills will be on the rise. This is bad news. You need to make sure that your attic and crawlspace is insulated correctly. The stack effect totally negates the energy the HVAC system is using. Families that invest in insulating their attics and crawlspace can eliminate the stack effect’s impact and can save 30% and 50% on their energy bills. This is the best way to eliminate the stack effect as much as possible.

HVAC Services in Manhattan, Flushing, Queens, Brooklyn & The Bronx, New York

If you’re concerned about this movement of air in your home you can contact Agape Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing to figure out the problem and make sure your HVAC system isn’t working harder than it should. Call us today!

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