Although you might think it a waste of money to start heating your crawl space – it is actually something that could save you money in the long run. Having said that, anyone living in a relatively warm and dry area might then think that heating crawl space won’t apply to them, as it will only be necessary to prevent heat loss through a floor.
Well, the reality is that unheated crawl spaces in areas that air conditioning is used regularly, can be in just as much need of heated crawl spaces as colder regions. The reason for this is not just to do with heat control and efficiency but – moisture.
The majority of crawl spaces will be fitted with vents to try and provide a degree of moisture control. In the colder months, warm air from your house will be conducted down, or seep, through the floor. This means that that warm air arriving in the crawl space meets the cold air from outside and there’s a risk of moisture forming.
However, moisture forming in a crawl space is actually as much of a problem in hotter weather. Here, hot and humid air from the outside enters the crawl space and meets colder air from inside the house passing or being conducted through the floor. In this sort of weather, the air doesn’t flow back out of the vents so easily and the result is a buildup of moisture that could harm the floor and its supports above the crawl space.
The simplest solution to this problem is to have a stable temperature in your crawl space throughout the year. It might be possible to achieve this solely by insulating the crawl space. However, a more likely solution is to have a system of blowing warmed air through the crawl space to keep it at a constant temperature.
A perfectly reasonable question to ask is won’t my fuel bills rocket if I have to burn more energy to heat, or even warm, the crawl space; not to mention is heating a crawl space being very eco-friendly? In colder regions a well designed and maintained crawl space heating system should actually not only reduce your fuel bills, but by reducing your fuel bills will automatically mean you’re actually burning less energy and are, therefore, becoming more eco-friendly.
Where does that leave people in hotter regions? You can still save energy in the long run by simply by having a system which in the hotter weather lets you adapt the crawl space heater to just blow air through your crawl space, to keep the air circulating and ultimately at a more constant temperature.
Whether you’re heating the crawl space or just want a system to keep air circulating through it , all you need is a system of ducts running from a heated/conditioned space of your home into the crawl space. You’ll be best off also fitting a fan to this system, but it only needs to be capable of moving the air between any two air vents.
Of course, whilst you’re doing this work you might as well install some insulation at the same time and, don’t forget, insulation helps to keep things cool as well as warm. This means in the winter, not only will your floors feel warmer because there’s some under-floor heating, but also in the summer the cool air in a room won’t be escaping through the floor, ultimately keeping your house cooler.