The stack effect refers to how the air in your house moves. Warm naturally rises in a home, as it’s less dense than cold air. This warmer air travels from the lower levels up through the living area and exiting through the attic. This stack effect significantly impacts the air quality in your home, as it creates a vacuum in your crawl space or basement.
The stack effect impacts energy efficiency
Yes, the stack effect can affect the energy efficiency of your home! If your home has poor insulation, cracks, the stack effect is going to have an impact on how hard your HVAC works. This will raise your energy bills, especially during the heat of summer and the cold of winter.
The stack effect impacts air quality
When the air is sucked up through the home, it brings all the contaminants from the basement or crawl space, including mold spores, dust mite feces, and radon gas. This can cause various health and breathing problems and agitate asthma.
To improve the air quality and comfort of your home, consider the following:
Get your basement waterproofed
Getting your basement waterproofed by a professional will prevent poor air quality and water problems in your home, like mold. Waterproofing will also help stop or reduce the chance of structural damage by sealing cracks and installing drain systems, among other repairs.
Install a vapor barrier
A proven method to prevent crawl space damage and improve the home’s health is to eliminate vents and seal the crawl space with a high-quality vapor barrier. If your vapor barrier is older, it may be time to replace it.
Get your home tested for radon
Another way to improve the health and safety of your home is to get it tested for radon every two years. Radon is a tasteless, odorless radioactive gas that seeps up from the ground and is dangerous if left untreated. A trained and certified professional in radon testing will come to your home and determine radon levels. If radon is found, a mitigation system will be installed. Free kits are also available.
Improve your home’s insulation
Improving the insulation in your home will not only help make your home more energy efficient but prevent drafts that can introduce allergens and pollutants. In the winter, warm air won’t escape your home, making it more comfortable.