Winterizing – Cold Air Penetration

Winterizing – Cold Air Penetration

For the past couple weeks we have mentioned Cold Air Penetration and referred to it numerous times; let’s look closer today.

The Chimney Effect or The Stack Effect is where a Path of air is created upward and eventually goes outside.  As air moves and as that moving air exits your home it drags with it expensive and precious heat.  The lost heat costs you significant amounts of money.  The lost heat demands an increase of energy to produce more heat, that heat is necessary to replace what is lost.  It really is quite simple – as heat is lost it needs to be replaced. 

All buildings lose heat the goal of creating an energy efficient home is to reduce the Heat Loss to an absolute minimum.

Typically Cold Air enters a home towards the bottom levels of the house and we have referred to this as Cold Air Penetration.  Granted, this is not the only source of cold air however it is the largest.  That cold dense air expands because it is more dense, this forces warm air upward and out; resulting in Heat Loss.

So, if we are able to greatly restrict Cold Air from entering the home we will see a significant reduction in the amount of heat loss.  Some studies actually conclude that restricting Cold Air Penetration is more important that increasing insulation in the attic.

If the Cold Air does not get a chance to enter the building then there is a significantly improved likelihood that less heat will be lost.

In previous Blog posts we have addressed several sources of Cold Air, most of which are holes in the building envelope.  We have talked about clothes dryer vents, water lines and electrical lines going through the foundation, gaps between the house and the foundation, windows, doors, and drains.  All those lovely “holes” provide an easy source of Cold Air Penetration.  Fixing most if not all of those “holes” is easy, makes a big difference, and is cheap. 

Despite your best efforts you will never 100% prevent Cold Air Penetration, but go ahead and make a big difference.  Your biggest friend will be spray foam.

Weekend project – this weekend if you decided to plug the now infamous huge hole under the Tub; that one project will make a big difference.

Have a good weekend.

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