Dealing With Ductwork Under Your Crawl Space

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Gina Napsin
July 19, 2024
Air Duct Cleaning
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Crawl spaces can be a problem for homeowners, especially if you have a type that is vented. But one option to eliminate moisture and air problems is encapsulating your crawl space. Builders of green homes often choose this because it eliminates all external openings, leading them to reduce energy consumption and create more insulation within their own houses!
Crawl spaces can be an excellent and cost-effective way to house your home if you live in a suitable climate. Depending on conditions, humid regions benefit significantly from encapsulating, while dry places may not need it as much. If you are like most homeowners, you probably do not think about your crawl space all that much. But if you have ducts in your crawl space, it is something you should start thinking about—especially if you are considering having your ducts cleaned. Experts recommend cleaning ducts in a crawl space for a variety of reasons. But what do you do about the air down there? Keep reading to learn more!

What is a Ductwork?

The beautiful thing about ductwork? You do not need to go outside for fresh air! The metal or synthetic conduits carrying air throughout your home can make you feel like royalty when they are installed and well-maintained. The indoor quality may be poor, but at least there's no need to take short walks through nasty weather either - stay cozy inside with some excellent heating/cooling going on all around.

What Is A Crawl Space?

A crawl space that is in good condition will help keep your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer, and it will also help protect it from moisture damage. If your crawl space isn't in good condition, it could lead to several problems for your home, including structural damage, mold growth, and pest infestation. Look at the following guide to learn more about protecting your crawl space.

The Problem with the Crawl Space

The crawl space is a rather unconditioned environment. You cannot heat or cool this area, so it's essential to maintain your home's HVAC system as best practice for overall comfort in all house rooms!
The living areas of your home may feel much cooler in the winter than the crawl space. Your furnace's hot air exits at the desired temperature. That hot air is cooled by the cold ducts in the crawlspace when it comes in contact with them, leaving the vents at a too-low temperature.
It would be the reverse on a steamy summer day. Your ductwork's unconditioned spaces will probably be warmer than the dwelling areas. Your air conditioner will cool the air and reheat it by passing it through hot ducts.
Leaky ducts also cause problems with indoor air quality. Drawing air from the crawl space into the air pumped into the living area can introduce allergens and other air quality problems. This setup is practical, cost- and energy-efficient with the proper insulation. This will be especially true if you reside in a region with chilly winters!

Sealing Before You Insulate

As you've discovered by now, your crawl area contains several things, such as filth, bugs and animal excrement, and mold spores, that you absolutely do not want to float about in the air within your house. The issue is that your HVAC system's air ducts probably pass directly into the crawl area.
Your home will immediately get leaking air from the area surrounding your air ducts if they are not properly sealed. You want the unconditioned air from the crawl space to stay consistent with the conditioned air from your HVAC system, even if you maintain your crawl space as clean as possible. It would be inefficient to do that! Thus, seal the ducts with mastic. Mastic won't peel away from the joints since it doesn't shrink as it matures. Additionally, it doesn't worsen with time and will endure for as long as your HVAC system does. Once you seal your ducts, you can insulate them.

Benefits of Duct Insulation

Duct insulation in crawl space is one of the most effective ways to improve your home's energy efficiency. Installing duct insulation in the crawl space will help keep your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer while also saving you money on your energy bills. While there are many different types of insulating material you can use, an inexpensive and effective solution is simply wrapping your ducts with fiberglass or other loose-fill insulation. Overall, you end up with a more comfortable home and wallet.

Energy and Cost Savings

The ducting is made of thin sheet metal or fiberglass, which explains why heat can be gained or lost easily. Your ducting can be insulated to control temperature, protecting your ducts from the crawl space's warmth. You'll spend less on utilities if you don't have to heat the air twice to get your house to the proper temperature. Additionally, you'll spend less on furnace upkeep and repairs.
Because of the ductwork insulation, your furnace won't have to work as hard to get the same result. The furnace will last longer if the workload is decreased and the furnace's life expectancy is increased by insulation. Your furnace will need to be repaired and replaced less frequently, saving you a ton of money over time. Additionally, cutting down on energy waste has more significant environmental effects. We have a less negative influence on the environment by using energy more wisely.

Condensation Prevention

When your ducts aren't insulated, condensation commonly forms on the air conditioner ducts. Condensation forms as the cold air moves through the heating ducts in a warm crawlspace, and this condensation may cause moisture to accumulate in your ducts.
This dampness might then result in poor air quality in your house, and mold and mildew flourish in wet conditions. The first step in stopping this condensation is to insulate your ductwork, and long-term health protection for your family will be improved by proper insulation.

How To Take Care Of Your Crawl Space

We frequently enter the crawl areas of houses to work on residential HVAC systems. It might be really frightening what we discover there. Since homeowners don't often spend much time in their subterranean spaces, they are susceptible to neglect. But it's crucial to understand that your home's foundation practically extends into the crawl space. If you don't maintain it, it could lead to major issues and end up costing you a lot of money.

Keep Critters Out

The awful things we frequently discover in crawl tunnels are dead animals—and occasionally live ones! Snakes, rats, mice, squirrels, opossums, and raccoons are some typical animals entering the crawl spaces under people's homes. They occasionally enter through poorly screened vents, sometimes through cracks and openings.
Regardless of how they enter, these intruders may be pretty troublesome for homes.

These animals might cause significant harm to your house. They may gnaw through flexible ducting and electrical lines. They can also tear and chew through a vapor barrier if you have one.
They could be harmful to your health. These animals also leave behind dander that some individuals may be allergic to, as well as excrement and urine.
Due to the stench of their waste and the horrible stink that may develop if one of these unwanted guests dies under your house, they may also make your home uncomfortable.
Ensure your vents are appropriately covered, and any gaps or cracks are filled to avoid these problems.
If animals do manage to get inside, hire experts to remove them, clean your crawl space, and check it for damage.

Dry Your Crawl Space

Moisture is one of the main issues with crawl spaces. Water may seep through the ground if the crawl space's floor is only bare earth. Condensation may build up on any pipes or air ducts in the crawl space that are not insulated. Vents can improve the ventilation in your crawl area, and vents may enhance moisture in the room rather than decrease it if the outside air is excessively humid.
To make the crawl area of your house dry:
You might have to construct a vapor barrier to cover the dirt floor.
Condensation can be reduced by insulating pipes and air ducts, though improper installation could cause the insulation to become damp and grow mold.
For some homes to stay dry, a dehumidifier can be installed in the crawl space.
It's also crucial to have functional, spotless gutters that direct rainwater away from the foundation of your house.

Start Saving Money Today

At first, taking care of your crawl space may seem costly and time-consuming. But you can save money in the long run by maintaining your home's foundation and ensuring it is dry and free from critters. The costs of repairing damage to your house due to poor maintenance or water damage could be significantly higher than simply investing the time and effort into properly maintaining your crawl space now.
Consider getting air duct cleaning to save money today. You should also ensure that you insulate any exposed pipes and air ducts in the crawl space and install efficient gutters to direct rainwater away from your house.

Call Home Alliance Today!

Our team of experts is here to help you keep your crawl space clean and dry so that you can avoid costly duct repairs and enjoy the comfort of a safe and stable home. Contact Home Alliance today for a reliable HVAC service on how we can help you maintain your crawl space and save money in the long run! Book a service today!