Increased energy bills are not always a sign that you and your family are using more electricity or gas. You can be losing efficiency with heating and cooling through the crawlspace of the home. There are a few steps you can take to increase energy efficiency and stop throwing hard-earned money out the window.
Insulate Crawlspace Walls
It is important to insulate the crawlspace walls, especially when the area is non-vented. Greater energy efficiency is achieved by insulating the walls with a hard insulation board and adhesive, rather than insulating the first level floor.
Vented crawlspaces will need to be insulated overhead. This also requires individually insulating all water pipes. It is more time consuming, but will provide excellent savings quickly. Take good measurements so that all of the materials you need are purchased in one trip.
Reduce Water and Moisture Vapor
Take a hard and close look at all drainage areas to ensure they lead away from the crawlspace. This may require adding length to drain spouts or building trenches that lead heavy rains away from the all-important underside of your home.
Add an Air and Vapor Seal to the Crawlspace Floor
Having a crawlspace floor that consists of dirt means that humidity will naturally be higher, unless you install a barrier. There are plastic sheeting materials available at home improvement centers of varying thickness that work well for vapor and air barriers in the crawlspace. Make sure that you cut enough material to tape to the side walls that are insulated.
Seal All Sills and Joists
Each joint of insulation and edge needs to be insulated. A spray insulation works well and is less tedious that other methods. The more time you take to ensure that the insulation is complete, the better the results will be on energy savings.
Insulate Crawlspace Vents and Doors in the Winter Months
Most areas require that crawlspaces are ventilated to keep humidity levels from rising. The resulting condensation can damage pipes and reduce the energy efficiency of the house. It is still a good idea to close off the vents during the cold harsh winter months. Cut out the perfect size plug for the vents out of a large piece of styrofoam. This can be used for many years and safely stowed away under the house during the warm months.
Saving money on energy bills is a big deal these days. It is good fore your pocketbook and great for the environment. You will be amazed at how much money you can save by taking time to properly insulate the crawlspace from moisture intrusion. The cost is relatively low considering the long-term savings you will enjoy.