That vented, dirt-floored, and often neglected area under your home is much more than a source of mold, allergens, and foul odors – or housing for pests, wildlife, and other unwanted guests.
Numerous studies conducted by Advanced Energy and other building scientists have demonstrated that vented crawl spaces can also negatively impact indoor air quality and comfort, as well as substantially increase your heating and cooling bills.
How much money are you losing through your crawl space? Well, according to the building scientists, energy losses through vented crawl spaces are so substantial that you may as well forfeit any other energy-saving improvements until you get your crawl space fixed.
Vented Crawl Spaces During the Summer
In Upstate NY, the summers tend to be hot and humid. So on a hot summer day, the humid air that enters the crawl space through the vents will cool down, and when that happens, the relative humidity in the area will increase substantially. Often above 60%, which is the level of humidity that favors mold growth and dry rot. On especially humid days, the RH levels will rise above 100%, at which point condensation begins to occur.
Because of a physics phenomenon known as the stack effect the air in every building always moves upwards, so a lot of that hot and humid air will infiltrate your living space, making it uncomfortable and hard to cool. Your Air Conditioner will have to work much harder than it should, just to keep up with the hot air flow from the crawl space.
Things get much worse if you have air ducts running through the crawl space. There will be condensation dripping down the ducts and the cool air inside them will gain temperature before it makes it to the rooms it is supposed to cool. Once again, your Air Conditioner will be forced to work harder to keep you comfortable.
Now imagine what that extra work will do to your energy bills!
Vented Crawl Spaces During the Winter
The winters here in Upstate NY are cold and dry, so the process is inverse. Cold air will move into your living space and make your heating system work harder, jacking up your bills.
Have ducts in the crawl space? Now the hot air in them loses temperature before making it to the living space, and condensation will still be dripping from the ducts because of the temperature difference.
Energy Saving Solutions for Your Crawl Space
The only science-backed solution for energy waste in crawl spaces is crawl space encapsulation. In this process, the vents are sealed, and the crawl space is isolated from outside air and ground moisture with a vapor barrier. A dehumidifier is then used to keep relative humidity at safe levels.
At EcoSpect, we are the crawl space repair and encapsulation experts in Upstate NY and the only company in the region backing our products and services with the Healthy Crawl Space Certificate – a transferable lifetime warranty.
Have a problem with your crawl space? Don’t hesitate to contact us for a Free Estimate!