Crawl Space Insulation -- Save Money on your Heating and Cooling Bills
Sealing the outside air out and/or conditioning within the crawl space environment is the recommended solution. If insulating the crawl space is a concern, we recommend insulating the foundation walls with polystyrene insulation. You do not need to insulate the ceiling of the crawl space but check with your local building codes (because although they may not be optimal, or even based on the correct science, they are still the governing say so).
Insulating an Unventilated Crawl Space
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the best approach to insulating an unventilated crawl space is to seal and insulate the foundation walls rather than the subfloor. In their consumer’s guide to energy efficiency and renewable energy, the advantages to insulating the crawl space are as follows:
- Less insulation required (about 400 sq. ft. for a 1,000-sq.-ft. crawl space with 3-foot high walls.).
- Pipes and ductwork are contained within the house’s conditioned envelope so they don’t require insulation for energy efficiency or protection against freezing.
- Air sealing between the house and the crawl space is less critical.
The disadvantages of crawl space insulation include the following:
- The crawl space insulation may become damaged by rodents, pests, or water (polystyrene insulation can be chewed through by rodents and possibly pests, but should be unaffected by water).
- If radon is present, a radon mitigation system will require ventilation of the crawl space to the exterior (even in a vented crawl space, elevated levels of radon can be present).
- The crawl space must be made as airtight as possible, and the air barrier must be maintained (the CleanSpace crawl space encapsulation system takes this into account with products such as Wall Cap for blocking air penetration from block walls, airtight vent covers for sealing vents, and an airtight crawl space door. Training for CleanSpace Installers includes a video entitled “Air is a Thing” that explains the importance of caulking and sealing off all entry of outside air into the crawlspace.).
- The access door to the crawl space must be located inside the home through the subfloor unless an airtight, insulated access door to the outside is used (our crawl space door is an ideal solution).
Of course we can’t create a vacuum in, nor ever be able to seal out all of the outside air, but the CleanSpace vapor barrier system comes as close as possible.
Sealing your crawl space is the first step. If sealing is not enough, then adding crawl space insulation is the next step. The cost of crawl space insulation pays for itself with its energy efficient benefits. We will be glad to show you how insulating your crawl space doesn’t cost it pays!
Crawl Space Encapsulation Video
See the Crawl Space Encapsulation video process on YouTube.