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The Stack Effect: The Cost of Unhealthy Air Flow in Your Home

Thursday, August 13th, 2020 by Margot Cornelius

The Stack Effect:  The Cost of Unhealthy Air Flow in Your Home - Image 1


Ever played the thermostat merry-go-round with family members? You know, when the people downstairs get cold, so they turn the heat up and those upstairs get overheated and open the windows? Not only is this wreaking havoc on your heating and cooling bills, it’s not healthy for your home. 

As heat leaves your home through the top level, cold air is sucked in through your basement. In summer, the opposite happens. The hot air outside forces cooler, air-conditioned air in your home down and out through your basement or crawl space. This movement of hot and cold air is called the “stack effect”.

The constant movement of air through your home will cause problems. Here’s how:


Escaping air produces condensation throughout your home. Moisture is a silent destroyer as it contributes to rot and decay of any organic material, which is just about anything in your home.


The stack effect creates a bottom-up airflow which means that whatever lurks in your crawlspace or basement will travel through to your top floors. So mildew, mold spores, and all sorts of dank smells will wreak havoc on your sinuses, especially for those who suffer with allegies. If you have any kitty litter pans in the basement, you guessed it, those toxins will travel upstairs.


Cold air entering your home through the basement or crawl space is overriding the HVAC system. This means your heating system is having to work harder, ask your electricity bills at the end of a month.

It’s hard to imagine that something as simple and benign as the air flow in your home could cost you in more ways than one. As waterproofing and crawl space experts we’ve seen the impact of the stack effect on many homes. We offer a complete encapsulation system that seals your home from outside air. Our CleanSpace vapor barrier prevents those ground leaks that fuel the stack effect in your home. Once that crawl space is sealed, you can have peace of mind that the air traveling up through your home is clean and healthy. Call us now for a free estimate.


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Ayers Basement Systems
2505 S. Waverly Hwy
Lansing, MI 48911
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