The stack effect — a little-known problem that can have a huge impact on your wallet.

The “stack effect” isn’t a term we hear very often in everyday life. In fact, many people have no idea that it even exists. However, if your home has two or more stories, the stack effect could be dramatically reducing your home’s energy efficiency. That’s why the experts at 360 Thermal Houston have set out to help you understand what the stack effect is, how it can affect your home’s energy efficiency and what you can do to combat its effects.

What is the stack effect?

The simplest explanation of the stack effect is that is describes the motion of air being forced into or out of your home due to changes in pressure that are caused by the differences in temperatures on the inside and outside of the home. The stack effect is most obvious in winter. Warmer air is lighter and less dense than colder air, which is why it rises. If your home isn’t properly insulated, that rising air can leak right through your attic, which causes colder air to be pulled in the lower parts of your home. Although it may seem like a good thing for the warm air to escape from your home during the warmer, summer months, the stack effect can actually make your house warmer during the summer. In order to compensate for the cooler, higher density air inside your home, the stack effect causes the colder air to be forced down and out of the home through crawl spaces that are uninsulated and warm air to be forced in through an uninsulated attic.

How does the stack effect affect your home’s energy efficiency?

The stack effect undermines all of the hard work your HVAC system does to keep your home at a comfortable temperature year-long. However, since your HVAC system is designed to get your home to the temperature you set it on, the stack effect will cause it to keep on working and pumping out air that is being forced out of your home. Not only does this lead to an increase in your monthly energy bills, but all of that extra work can also reduce the lifespan of your HVAC system.

What can you do to combat the stack effect?

The stack effect can have devastating impacts on both your wallet and your HVAC system, but the good news is that you are not helpless to its effects. Installing the right kind of spray foam insulation in strategic areas, like the attic and crawl spaces in your home, can eliminate the stack effect and save you money every month on your energy bills. In fact, homeowners who combat the stack effect with attic and crawl space insulation will typically save between 30 and 50 percent on their energy bills.

Don’t let the stack effect get you down.

If your home always feels cooler in the winter and warmer in the summer, regardless of what you set your thermostat on, you may be seeing the effects of the stack effect first-hand. Find out if spray foam insulation is the right solution for your home in Houston by contacting us at 360 Thermal today@ 713-588-3626 for a free energy audit today and start saving on high utility bills.