Crawlspace Conditioning = A Healthy Home
Are you experiencing drafts in your home? Poor indoor air quality? Temperature Discomfort? The answer to improving this may not exist where you think it does! Many people think first about their windows when experiencing uncomfortable drafts in their home. Although this may be true, it only accounts for a small portion of your discomfort. Crawlspaces are critical air-leakage points and conditioning this space will increase the overall comfort of your home, making the floors above warmer and help lower energy costs!
So what is crawlspace conditioning? Crawlspace conditioning thermally connects your house to the ground, which is warmer, by insulating the walls and air-sealing at the sill plate and rim joists. Although these improvements prevent drafts and temperature discomfort, what makes your house healthy is a durable sealed vapor barrier over the floor. Lets take a closer look at how each improvement creates a healthier and more comfortable indoor environment.
1. Insulating the crawlspace walls - Insulation keeps heat energy from passing through your home. When combined with the rest of your insulation system, the inside temperature will have a tougher time escaping your home. This means your heating and cooling equipment won't be working as hard which in turn means lower energy costs!
2. Air sealing sill plate and rim joists - In addition to lower energy costs, air-sealing removes those uncomfortable drafts! As indoor air rises through the process called "stack effect", cold, unhealthy air is pulled from the crawlspace creating drafts, unhealthy odors, and moisture problems. Air sealing controls the flow of air and improves the comfortable home you may be living in today.
3. So what keeps your home healthy? Sealing a durable vapor barrier to the crawlspace of the floor! The barrier stops soil gases such as Radon and the continual evaporation of moisture from the soil, keeping them below where they do no harm. A sealed crawl space also prevents the formation of mold, creating a dry, healthy and temperature controlled living environment. Without this critical improvement, the insulation and air-sealing would only serve the discomfort of your home, not the healthiness of it.