Crawl spaces have a big impact on home performance. When the summer sets in around Long Island, heat can collect in your crawl space, rising up through the floor into your living space. This means your cooling system has to work harder to make up for the extra heat pouring into your home. Installing insulation beneath your floor can help prevent this heat transfer.
Here are a few tips for installing subfloor insulation in crawl spaces:
- Seal air leaks in the crawl space’s ceiling (the subfloor). Leaks are often found around drains, pipes, ductwork plenums and wiring. Anyplace the ceiling is penetrated is spot for a possible leak.
- You need insulation correctly sized for the spacing of the subfloor joists. It’s important to leave no insulation gaps. Look for insulation batts with vapor barriers, which also prevent moisture from rising, or seeping down into crawl spaces. Cut the batt as close as possible to the exact size of the joist. Slits help it fit around wires and plumbing. Install it flush against the subfloor.
- Install insulation in the band joist area, which goes around the perimeter of the house. Ideally, there will be enough space between ducts and the subfloor for insulation. Insulation hangers, or wire staves, can hold the batting in place without compressing it too much (which reduces efficiency). Space the staves from 12 to 18 inches apart.
- Vapor barriers installed around Long Island should face upward (it’s different for areas such as the Gulf states).
- Be sure to seal and insulate any accessible ductwork in the crawl space.
- Make sure all water lines in the crawl space are insulated. They may already be located within the insulation, but you want to be sure they do not freeze in winter or become a source of energy loss.
- If everything is dry, close the crawl space vents. Vents can suck heat and moisture into crawl spaces, which can cause problems.
Need more advice — or a professional to do the job? Contact the experts at T.F. O’Brien; we’ll be glad to offer the assistance you need.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about proper ventilation and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
T.F. O’Brien services the Long Island, New York area. Visit our website to see our special offers to get started today!