Winterizing - Chimney Effect

Winterizing - Chimney Effect

After wandering around in the basement for the past couple weeks we are about to go finally upstairs and see how we can affect The Chimney Effect where precious heat is robbed from your home.  As Cold Air Penetrates into your home, the Chimney Effect begins. 

Remember, the cold air enters your home through all kinds of holes, cracks, openings, and crevices.  Cold air is far denser than the warmer air upstairs in your home; the dense air then forces the less dense warm air out.  All this revolves around variations in pressures.  The cold dense air creates pressure against the less dense air, forcing it outside.  That entry of cold air upward and out is called a Path, a path which air follows as it drags warmth out of the house.

The influence of pressure is enormous.  Without the pressure differentials a pathway for air movement wouldn't occur.  Pressure differentials are caused by numerous things however, the huge difference between the density of cold vs. warm air is dramatic.  During the summer months when temperatures inside and outside are very close air movement is minimal, summer air tends to stagnate as all of the air is similar in density.  As we move deeper into winter the density differences of cold v. warm air is significant causing greater air movement within the Path and the resulting Chimney Effect.

Take a close look at today’s photograph where a high-rise building is being built.  Common practice is to wrap the entire building in plastic to keep the rain out and to some extent keep heat inside.  Okay, granted the plastic does a very poor job of retaining the heat.

Towards the bottom of the photograph you will see how the plastic is being sucked inward, look at the 2nd floor, and towards the top of the building you will see the plastic bulging outward.  All of that is a Path of air movement within The Chimney Effect.  That Path is being greatly impacted by air density and pressure differentials. 

See how important it is to restrict Cold Air Penetration.  

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