Posted on October 31 2018
You know that old saying that you’ve probably heard a million times about “hot air rising”? Yeah? Well, it’s a myth.
While you might be asking yourself, “So what? Who cares if hot air really rises or not? What does it have to do with me and how much heating oil I use?”
Well, what it means for most people is that when you figure out that heat doesn’t just rise up and fly out of your house on its own (Spoiler Alert: It gets pushed!) then you have a much better shot at being able to minimize how much of it you lose day after day, night after night, for the entire heating season.
In a nutshell, just know that cold air is much heavier than warm air because all the molecules in cold air are densely packed together, all snuggled up right close to each other, probably trying to keep each other warm. Meanwhile, back at the other end of the thermometer, all the warm air molecules are jumping all around, whoopin’ it up like a bunch of flamenco dancers at Mardi Gras.
Because hot air molecules are much more active and lighter than cold air molecules, whenever the two meet, the cold (heavier) air immediately sinks to bottom of whatever space they’re in and forces the lighter, warmer air up and out. The bigger the difference in temperature is, the more forceful this exchange becomes.
You can see the same thing happen on a warm, sunny day when you first open your car door and are immediately hit with a wave of hot air from inside the car. What’s really going on is that the cold(er) outside air is actually rushing in to the car and pushing all the hot air out – right into your face.
Interested in more heating oil tips? Check out Heating Oil Use Tips.