Insulation is an excellent way for you to reduce your energy consumption without compromises. However, many homeowners still leave one part of their house uninsulated—the crawl space. So, should you really insulate your crawl space, and how important would it be to invest in it?
You should have insulation in your crawl space because it can prevent heat from leaving or entering your house. The Department of Energy also recommends every house to have an insulated crawl space. Not only will it help you better regulate indoor temperature, but it also offers a great ROI.
Despite all of these, many people are still hesitant because someone told them that they don’t need to insulate their crawl space. So, let’s cover everything that you need to know about it in great detail. We’ll also share the most significant benefits of doing it and how you can properly insulate your crawl space.
Should You Consider Insulating Your Crawl Space?
There are two types of crawl spaces: unventilated and ventilated. Both require different insulation types, but the goal is still the same: create a thermal envelope for the space to prevent warm air from leaving or entering your house.
However, when you ask different insulation companies, you’ll get different answers on how you should insulate your crawl space and if you should even consider doing it. Of course, it’s understandable if you’re calling companies from other areas because they’ll recommend different R-Values, depending on where you live.
It is true that you can have the same level of comfort that you want, even without insulation, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have proper insulation.
You see, one of the reasons why we have home insulation is because it allows us to maintain the same level of comfort without spending as much energy and without having to use mechanical means that, sometimes, are not that healthy.
And, while most people understand insulating walls and roof, not everyone can grasp why you should also be insulating your crawl space. But it is a crucial part of air sealing and climate control. Even the Department of Energy recommends that every household should have a properly insulated crawl space.
Let’s have a look at all the benefits of insulating your crawl space.
Benefits of Insulated Crawl Spaces
Insulating your crawl space isn’t a must, but we highly recommend it. Since it is not mandatory, we will try to convince you of why you should do it. Here are 4 of the most significant benefits that you can get from a properly insulated crawl space:
Less Energy Consumption
Consuming less energy is a given benefit that you can expect when you insulate any part of your house. The better insulation you have, the more energy-efficient your house gets, and the more energy you save. For many people, this benefit alone is more than enough to consider having their crawl space insulated.
If you can properly insulate your crawl space, you’ll be able to prevent duct leaks or condensation buildup that forces your HVAC to work harder just to regulate temperature. It’s so efficient that Energy Star even considers it as the second-largest opportunity for anyone to save energy at home.
Better Overall Comfort
If you have a centralized HVAC system, and some parts of your house feel warmer or colder than the rest of the house, it’s most likely because of the crawl space. That’s because your crawl space can create drafts and cold spots in your house that your HVAC may not be able to regulate.
By insulating your crawl space, you’re not only making your HVAC more efficient, but you’re also making your house more comfortable for everyone. There will be fewer cold spots and drafts in the rooms because your system can easily regulate the temperature.
Improved Air Quality
One of the biggest challenges with crawl spaces is that it provides easy access for mold, dust, dirt, moisture, and even rodents to enter your home. All of these are potential health hazards to you and your family, making it crucial for you to regularly deal with them.
However, if you’re going to insulate your crawl space properly, you can minimize these, which can drastically improve air quality within your home. Insulation is an easy way to protect walls and ductwork and keep bad air out of your house.
Great Return on Investment
The last but probably the most significant reason why you should insulate your crawl space is because it’s a huge money saver. Although you’ll spend a bit more upfront, crawl space insulation provides a great ROI that pays for itself in just a few years.
Just imagine the money you can save from your energy consumption and the added benefit of making it harder for rodents and other pests to enter your crawl space. Not only will you be spending less on your utility bill, but you will also save money on pest control because you don’t have to worry about rodents and insects infesting your house.
How to Properly Insulate Crawl Spaces
A properly insulated crawl space can make a lot of difference. Sure, you can hire a professional to do it for you, ensuring better results and long-term value. However, if you decide to do it yourself, here are the things that you need to remember to insulate your crawl space properly:
- Ensure that you eliminate all sources of water from your crawl space. You can also keep it dry and clean by installing drainage matting and a crawl space sump pump. All of these will make it easier for you to insulate your crawl space.
- Install a moisture barrier for better waterproofing. Moisture is a significant concern for crawl spaces, but you can easily get rid of this problem if you have a moisture barrier.
- Insulate the walls and ceiling of the crawl space. If you’re trying to insulate your crawl space, you want to have the best climate control. You don’t need to have the highest R-Value for your insulation, but you should at least have the recommended thickness for your zone.
- Use mold-resistant insulation materials. Even if you’ve eliminated all water sources from your crawl space, it doesn’t mean that you won’t have to deal with mold. So, to help you really improve air quality, only use waterproof or, at least, mold-resistant insulation material.
- Use a sealant on cracks and crevices, and seal all vents and openings. Even with proper insulation, air can still flow freely in and out of your house through vents and other openings. To prevent it from happening and ensure that you have healthy indoor air quality, sealing your crawl space is vital to home insulation.
In many states, you can’t build a house without an insulated crawl space. However, if you have an older house, it is very unlikely that someone will inspect it and tell you that you need to have one. It’s probably one of the reasons why people are hesitant about insulating their crawl spaces.
However, if you look at all the benefits you can get from a properly insulated crawl space, it isn’t hard to see that doing it is very advantageous for your health and your wallet. Being the second-biggest opportunity for anyone to save energy is more than enough for many people to consider insulating their crawl space.
- HGTV: Crawl Space Insulation: What You Should Know
- Ecohome: Crawl Space Insulation Tips for Insulating Crawl Spaces Properly
- Crawl Space Ninja: Should I Insulate My Crawl Space?
- Bob Villa: Your Quick Guide to Insulating Crawl Space (Project Primer)
- Angie’s List: Why Should I Insulate My Crawl Space?
- Dr. Energy Saver: 5 Best Ways to Insulate a Crawl Space
- Energy.gov: Home Page
- Energy Star: Home Page