Wondering whether your crawl space needs insulation? While all crawl spaces can benefit from some level of insulation, there are certain factors that determine the priority and level of necessary insulation. Perhaps the most important of these factors is ventilation.
With a ventilated crawlspace, insulation is of greater importance. As you have no means of controlling the temperature or humidity of the air exchanged in a ventilated crawl space, insulation is often your first line of defense against the elements. Consider these common trouble spots:
- Ductwork: When ducts are run through unconditioned areas such as the crawl space, they are exposed to ever-changing outdoor temperatures. Under the right circumstances, these temperature fluctuations can affect the temperature of your conditioned air. Adequate insulation prevents or at least limits such an occurrence.
- Plumbing: Like ducts, pipes should be insulated against the elements. With pipes, this priority may be even higher, as frozen pipes can lead to expensive household damage.
- Air leaks: If you have air leaks between you living space and crawl space, you’re going to lose conditioned air, sacrifice comfort and pay more in energy costs. To ensure energy efficiency, seal air leaks in places where pipes, ducts and wiring pass from the home to the crawl space. This should be done before insulating to prevent the unwanted exchange of moisture, which can actually damage insulation and lead to mold growth.
- Moisture control: Speaking of moisture, when insulating your crawl space, be sure to use vapor barriers to help ward off unwanted moisture and the growth of mold.
If your crawl space happens to be sealed, insulation becomes less of a priority. For example, you won’t have to worry quite as much about outdoor temperatures affecting your plumbing or ductwork, and moisture should be less of an issue. Of course, insulation around foundation walls can help create a buffer against outdoor temperatures and improve the comfort of your home.
If you’re not sure how to handle insulating your crawl space, let one of our trained technicians assess the situation.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about insulating your crawl space and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.