The Best Way to Insulate a Crawl Space Under Your House
I think that we all play favorites from time to time. I know, I know, if you’re a parent you can’t pick a favorite kid, but when it comes to many other things, like TV shows, musicians, or ice cream flavors, I think we all have our personal favorites. This is certainly true in my own life, especially when it comes to the two engines in my garage that I find myself working on a weekend or two every month: my car engine and the engine for my lawnmower.
I keep my car engine impeccable. I’m always tinkering with that engine, making sure that it’s clean and in the best possible working order, with nothing out of line. Meanwhile, when it comes to my lawnmower engine, let’s just say that it gets a bit less attention. So, yes, I play favorites there, and I think many homeowners have a tendency to do this with the rooms in their house.
As a heating and cooling service expert, I can tell you that homeowners definitely play favorites with what rooms they insulate. Sure, living rooms and bedrooms are at the top of their list for insulation, but there are other, more out of the way spaces in every house that needs attention as well. That’s why today I want to talk a bit about the best way to insulate a crawl space under your house.
I’ve talked about insulation quite a bit in the past, from the importance of having it in your attic to the value of blown-in insulation but, what I’d like to hone in on today, is the crawl space under your house. Simply put, understanding the best way to insulate the crawl space under your house can save you a ton of money on your monthly heating and cooling bills. Let’s take a look at how to approach this insulation project—and why you should be excited to get it done!
The Best Way to Insulate the Crawl Space Under Your House
When it comes to pinpointing the best way to insulate the crawl space under your house, there are two major questions you have to answer:
- #1: What type of insulation should I use for the crawl space under my house?
- #2: How should I install the insulation in the crawl space?
Let’s take a look at the answers to those two questions together:
- What type of insulation should I use?: There are several types of insulation to choose from for insulating the crawl space under your house. One option is the traditional fiberglass batts, which go between the exposed joists in the crawl space. Fiberglass is generally cheaper than most other insulation options, and it’s definitely widely-available, which has made it a popular choice for many years. The other option, though, is rigid foam insulation board, which is generally installed against the crawl space foundation walls rather than between the floor joists. Which option would be best for your home tends to vary based on your individual circumstances. The only problem with fiberglass is that it has a tendency to absorb moisture, which can cause mold growth or sagging. In our Sacramento area, we can get a good deal of rain in the winter, so depending on how well-sealed your crawl space is, foam or cellulose insulation may be the better choice. An experienced insulation expert, however, can help you identify which insulation will be the right choice for your unique home and crawl space.
- How should I install the crawl space insulation?: As I’ve talked about in the past, how to insulate existing walls can be somewhat of a tricky question. There are several different ways to install insulation; they vary greatly depending on the nature of the insulation you’ve chosen. Foam is only installed one way: by injecting it into the walls of your crawl space where it then expands to cover and fill in the space. Both cellulose and fiberglass insulation, however, come in loose-fill or dense-packed varieties. What separates them is the amount of pressure you need to install them. The overall lesson here is that installing insulation into your crawl space is a complicated process, one that’s best left to local insulation experts who have the proper skills, tools, and years of experience.
Why You Should Insulate the Crawl Space Under Your House
There’s a simple reason why you should insulate the crawl space under your house: if you don’t, you’re literally costing yourself money. Taking a whole-home approach to energy efficiency is a great way to make sure your HVAC system functions at maximum efficiency and that the warm or cool air that it generates is not leaking out through your windows and walls.
I think there’s often a tendency for us to focus on insulating the spaces we live in the most… not realizing that air can also seep through our floors if the crawl spaces beneath them are not properly insulated.
A whole-home approach to saving on heating and cooling costs involves having energy-efficient windows, an energy-efficient HVAC system, and, most importantly for our discussion today, the best possible insulation in every nook and cranny of your home. I think there’s often a tendency for us to focus on insulating the spaces we live in the most, like our bedroom—or even in our attics since we know insulation holds in the heat that rises—not realizing that air can also seep through our floors if the crawl spaces beneath them are not properly insulated. By insulating your crawl space, you prevent conditioned air from being lost, allowing your furnace or AC to run less, and, as a result, your utility costs to go down.
By insulating your crawl space, you prevent conditioned air from being lost, allowing your furnace or AC to run less, and, as a result, your utility costs to go down.
As may be evident to you by now, I strongly believe that the best way to insulate a crawl space under your house is by getting expert advice from a trained insulation professional local to your hometown. That way you can ensure that you get the best type of insulation for your house as well as the local climate—and ensure that it’s installed correctly. This is also especially relevant advice right now for all our friends in the Sacramento area who need to start preparing for a SMUD rate increase that’s on the horizon.
And yes, I know that the crawl space is nobody’s favorite room, and that chances are strong that nobody in your house spends much time down there. If, however, you want to save money on your monthly heating and cooling bills (and who doesn’t), I strongly suggest that you have an insulation installation expert out to give you an estimate.
At Bell Brothers, our trained HVAC and insulation experts would be delighted to come have a look at the crawl space under your house, determine which insulation you need, and professionally install it for you. Contact us today to schedule a free in-home consultation.
Wondering how to finance new insulation—or even a furnace or window upgrade? HERO is a unique financing option that helps California homeowners afford energy efficient upgrades to their home. Contact Bell Brothers, a HERO-approved contractor, to learn more. Our local HVAC, plumbing, and window specialists will walk you through the entire process, from applications to installation.
Image courtesy bildlove