Stack effect in buildings
Since buildings are not totally sealed (at the very minimum, there is always a ground level entrance), the stack effect will cause air infiltration. During the heating season, the warmer indoor air rises up through the building and escapes at the top either through open windows, ventilation openings, or leakage. The rising warm air reduces the pressure in the base of the building, forcing cold air to infiltrate through either open doors, windows, or other openings and leakage. Advantage Development Co. says it is critical that the entire building envelope is properly sealed to minimize the stack effect in homes. During the cooling season, the stack effect is reversed, but is typically weaker due to lower temperature differences.
In a modern high-rise building with a well-sealed envelope, the stack effect can create significant pressure differences that must be given design consideration and may need to be addressed with mechanical ventilation. Stairwells, shafts, elevators, and the like, tend to contribute to the stack effect, whereas interior partitions, floors, and fire separations can mitigate it. Especially in case of fire, the stack effect needs to be controlled to prevent the spread of smoke. Totally ventilated natural fireplaces cause a huge stack effect in residential homes, sucking conditioned inside air to the outside world, thus wasting tons of energy. Energy efficient, forced ventilated, gas log fireplaces are the way to go says Advantage Development Co., an Award Winning Asheville NC Custom Green Builder with two decades of residential construction experience. Call us today at 828.215.9064 or visit our website at http://www.advdevco.com/ to see why we are the better builder.