When you think of “Going Green” you are probably quick to think of changing your light bulbs, updating appliances, installing insulation, or replacing your windows. While doing these things will help decrease your energy footprint, very few people realize that one of the significant contributors to energy loss in your home is its crawl space.
Most crawl spaces were initially designed to allow humidity to escape through foundation vents. These vents allowed not only hot, humid air to enter in the Summer months, but allowed cold air from the
Winter weather to enter in as well. The heating and cooling system then has to work much harder to compensate for the intruding outside air, costing you more money.
Advance Energy and the Department of Energy (www.crawlspaces.org) have conducted ongoing studies that have proven the theory that an unvented, closed crawlspace is the most energy efficient crawl space design for a home. This method also controls humidity in the crawlspace, helping to prevent the growth of mold and fungus. Furthermore, when builders design a house with an unvented crawlspace, they often downsize the heating and cooling unit: the home is now more energy efficient since it does not have to fight against outside elements.
Homeowners strive to have their builder install windows, insulation, and other materials to create the tightest, most energy efficient home they can. Although these upgrades can help you gain more “green”, they do not address the problem at the main source. Unfortunately, foundation vents have been standard practice for most crawl space homes since the implementation of crawl spaces.
Now ask yourself this question; if you wouldn’t leave the windows to your home open all year round, why should your crawl space have foundation vents that are open all year round? They would introduce the same complications (like moisture, pests, etc.) that would find their way in through your windows.
Studies like the ones above have helped to rewrite the building codes throughout the country. The International Building Codes now allow for the construction of unvented crawlspaces for residential homes. Most Building Commissioners encourage this practice for all new construction.
If you are aware that your crawl space was built with foundation vents, give Barrier Waterproofing a call today at (615) 257-1060. We will provide you with a FREE no-hassle evaluation of the state of your crawl space, and offer you our expert services to encapsulate your crawl space and cure the main source of your Green Energy blues! Save money on your FREE evaluation, even more on your electric bill and give yourself the opportunity to invest in right green energy.