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Insider secrets # 22

What You Need To Know About Multi-storey Homes That Can Save You $$$

by | Aug 13, 2020 | Doors & Windows, Draughts, Insider Secret 22

Today we’re going to talk about multi-level homes and in particular, the kind of airflow that happens in staircases. Demonstrated in another Insider Secret,“Stairway to Heaven or Stairway to Big Energy Costs” we showed the direction of smoke rising an incense stick. When there is a heat source at the bottom of the staircase, warm air rises up the stairs. This demonstration shows when warm air rises, it is replaced with cooler air coming down the stairs in the opposite direction. This means that if you’re at the bottom of the staircase trying to warm yourself, you are likely to feel a breeze around the ankles.

This is important to know this in terms of heating and cooling your home. If you are trying to warm the lower half of a home that contains a staircase, warm air is going to rise up the stairs. If you want to cool the upper section of your home, the cool air will go down the stairs. So conditioning the air in a home with a staircase can be difficult and expensive.

If this is your situation, think about “zoning” your staircase. Zoning means dividing your home into sections. In this context, being able to block the exchange of air up and down the staircase. This is generally done with a door at the top or bottom of the stairs or if that is not suitable, install a heavy curtain.

Zoning your staircase will make your home much more comfortable as your air conditioning will be able to work less, this will save in conditioning costs and your home will be less breezy.

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