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Science brain teasers require understanding of the physical or biological world and the laws that govern it.

 

Puzzle ID:#12700
Fun:*** (2.43)
Difficulty:* (0.85)
Category:Science
Submitted By:od-1Aca****
Corrected By:Winner4600

 

 

 



Mrs. Duffus would often complain when Duffus left the door to the basement open. "The cool air from the basement makes the upstairs cold; close that door, Duffus!" she would rant. "It won't do any such thing," Duffus would reply and go on his way. Duffus was right, but why?




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Comments

electronjohn*us*
May 30, 2003

Yes, but now the upstairs heating system will be trying to heat the air in the basement since they are connected, which will waste energy. Plus if the basement is not sealed air tight (which is normal in a real world case) you may find that cold drafts of air coming in from the outside will cause movement of the air, air currents, that will mix the basement air with the warmer upstairs air thus cooling the upstairs (and warming the basement). Also when people and pets move around, especially up and down the stairs, more mixing of the warm and cool air will occur. In short, listen to your mom!
od-1Aca*
May 30, 2003

Maybe ture in some cases but not in Duffus's house.( electric heat not forced air )
puzzled_puzzler
May 30, 2003

Great way of putting a hint into the title.:-)
lauramarie
Jun 01, 2003

agree with electronjohn
Fasil*
Jun 03, 2003

If you think of the air as a fluid the heat will disperse making an equilibrium temperature throughout the house (ie the upstairs temperature lowers and the basement raises). Closing the door causes insulation to be placed between the rooms, thus decreasing the amount of heat transfer. And of course as elctronjon pointed out the dispersement would be increased by currents.
willymapo*cr*
Jun 03, 2003

Sorry guys, but it depends on WHERE the thermostat is place. As it happens to be, temperature is regulated based on the range the thermostat is set on, taking the actual temperature from one particular point. Is the gadget is placed near the basement door, then you will have an inferno in the living room. Also, the cool air will not rise above the warm one, so the efect is that you will have a not so hot lower current (that is, you'll end up with cold feet). Again, if the gadget is place in the upper side (waist up) the room, you won't have any effect in the heating.
sunnyfunny*
Jun 07, 2003

THIS IS SO OBVIOUS
curtiss82**
Dec 24, 2003

The answer is wrong. The previous comments are correct. Leaving the door open will crease a driving force for heat to travel from the warm air to the cold air. Plus the heating system, in addition to other forces, will create air currents that will result in the air mixing through out the house. Thus, leaving the basement door open will cause the upstairs to warm up.
lessthanjake789*us*
Jun 05, 2005

also, an interesting point... there is no such thing as cold air descending. there is only hot air rising. to make this feel equal, our mind makes up "so cold air goes down to balance it" but technically, the hot air rises and replaces it
summer868**
Jan 02, 2011

correct me if im wrong but doesnt hot air rise, creating a vaccuum so that the cold air (that moves a little sluggish) is then sucked down so to speak?



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