HVAC Stack Effect & Reverse in Houses & Tall High Rise Buildings in Manhattan, NY; How to Lower Heating & Cooling Costs

We all know that hot air rises and cool air sinks. There’s a little know phenomenon that occurs in our homes every day that you’ve probably never heard about and it can have a big impact on the temperature and air quality in our homes. It’s called the ‘stack effect’. The stack effect is the movement of air that is pulled or pushed in and out of your home. This motion comes from the difference in the temperature between the inside of your home and the climate outside. When the hot summer days get here we want to keep our homes cool and comfortable and in the cold winter months, we want our homes to be warm and comfortable too.

Reverse Stack Effect in Summer

Summers can get uncomfortable when the heat sets in. We rely on our air conditioners to cool the air to make our homes comfortable when the heat outside becomes too much and the stack effect starts to take effect. Uninsulated crawlspaces become the escape route when the low density of the air outside counters with the heavily dense cool air inside escapes in an attempt to equalize. When this happens, the warm air outside is pulled in through the uninsulated attic. The bad news here is that the hot air being pulled in allows the cool air to escape, making your HVAC system work harder.

Winter Stack Effect

The winter months will have a similar situation occurring. The difference here is that we want our homes to be warm and comfortable. The warm air inside our home is less dense than the cold air outside. This will cause the warm air to rise up the stairs and into the attic and it won’t stop moving once it gets there. It will leave your home and this rise of air will result in a pull in the lower parts of the home, like the crawlspace. This will cause cold air to be pulled into the home via the crawlspace and lead to the hot air escaping through uninsulated attics.

Central Air Conditioning, Heating & HVAC Services & More in Manhattan, New York City

The stack effect isn’t good news for your HVAC system or your wallet. If your attic and the crawlspace aren’t insulted correctly in the hot summers and the cold winters, the stack effect negates the energy that your HVAC system uses. The result is the heating and cooling unit will need to work longer and harder, which means more money out of your pocket and causes your energy bills to skyrocket. The easiest and most effective way to reduce or eliminate the effects the stack effect might have in your home is to make sure your attic and crawlspaces are completely insulated. The correct insulation will stop the energy escaping from these critical areas in your home and have you smiling at energy bills reduced between 30% and 50%. Contact NY NJ AC Connection to have your home evaluated and to come up with a plan to correct the stack effect in your home.

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