Most of us are aware that a leaky home will mean higher utility bills and more drafts. But, what exactly is going on that makes this happen. Let’s get nerdy with a little science on a Friday afternoon.

We all know the saying that “warm air rises.” This is somewhat true, but the real truth is that warm air can move in all directions. The real driving force of air movement is temperature difference. Warm air is less dense than cold air therefore it tends to rise. The more temperature differential the faster the air moves. So on a day like today in Kansas City this is what we are experiencing:

Our warm air from the furnace is moving to the top of our home. It is looking for places to escape through your attic. This happens around areas like your attic accesses, cracks in your ceiling, around recessed lighting, electrical and plumbing penetrations. Your house maintains an equalized pressure so air that moves out (exfiltration) must be replaced with air coming in (infiltration). Now the air coming into your home is likely coming in near the bottom of your home. Some common areas are the rim joist, around furnace flues, a/c lines entering the home, electrical and plumbing penetrations in this part of the home.

This is the basic principle of the stack effect. The stack effect is always more drastic in the winter months than in the summer. This is why weatherizing your home this winter will save you a bundle and keep you from having to bundle up to stay warm in your home. Finding all the gaps and cracks in a home is easy when using a blower door. We can pin point your air leaks and seal them up for you. Call us today and spend the rest of the winter warmer without an increase in utility bills.