We have been talking about Cold Air Penetration and how the Cold and Dense air gets into your home, or more accurately how it gets into the basement.
Take a look at today’s photograph and you will see the biggest culprit for that Cold Air Penetration. Yup, that would be the basement window.
Normally basement windows are opened in the spring and then closed up in the fall and will remain closed until spring time. Throughout the summer it is a good idea to keep the basement windows open for circulation and ventilation. But, as fall and colder air move in for the winter there is that time when it’s a good idea to close the windows.
The “Close your Windows Season” is upon us. With that in mind, go down to the basement and shut everything tightly. For those of you that choose to leave the basement windows open a while longer you will very soon feel quite the flow of air coming inside through the open window. That air flow is Dense Air that is at ground level and because of its weight and atmospheric pressure it is looking for a place to go even lower, that would be your basement.
If you leave the basement windows open much longer this is what will happen:
- Cold/Dense air will fall through your open windows into the basement whereupon it will be warmed. Yes, the basement will be significantly warmer than it is outside. As the cold air warms it increases in volume / mass and will want to rise upward into the living room.
- As the air is warming its volume is constantly increasing as it continues its rise upward. Remember thin air is much lighter than dense air.
- As the air warms and becomes increasingly thin it literately will force the warm heated air in your house outside.
- When warm air escapes that is Heat Loss and we are trying to stop that.
Close the basement window, stop the dense air from falling into the basement and then forcing warm air up and out. That scenario costs you money and harms the environment as you burn excessive fossil fuel.
As you close the basement windows make sure they fit tightly and that you have sealed off all the tiny cracks and crevices.
Throughout our winterizing your home series you will quickly come to find that spray foam is your friend. More about foam tomorrow.