The True Value of Crawl Space Encapsulation: Is it Worth the Investment?

The crawl space most often goes unused in the homes of central New York, so why would you want to invest time and money into stabilizing temperatures and keeping it dry with crawl space encapsulation? In this article, Energy Savers will go over what crawl space encapsulation is, how it affects the rest of the home, and whether or not crawl space encapsulation is worth the cost. 

What Is Included in Crawl Space Encapsulation?

To encapsulate a crawl space is to make it as waterproof,  insulated, and airtight as possible. The reason for this is to keep the air inside the crawl space dry, comfortable, and free of contaminants, so that any air pulled into your living space from underneath is easy to condition, and does not harm your indoor air quality. At Energy Savers, we utilize the following methods and upgrades in our crawl space encapsulation services:  

  • Air sealing
    • Locating and permanently closing any air leaks
  • Installing a vapor barrier
    • This is a thin plastic barrier to prevent moisture infiltration
  • Insulating
    • Installing spray foam  insulation under the floors and crawl space walls

How the Crawl Space Affects the Rest of the Home

If a crawl space is not properly encapsulated and sealed, this area can be a significant source of air leakage into the living space above. During colder months, warm air from the heated living space rises and escapes through the upper parts of the building. This creates a negative pressure at the lower levels, pulling in unconditioned, often damp, and cold air from the crawl space into the living areas. This can lead to poor indoor air quality, moisture problems, and an overworking of your heating and cooling systems.

During warmer months, the stack effect is still at play, with warmer air from the outside entering the crawl space and rising into the cooler, air-conditioned living areas. Encapsulating the crawl space helps create a barrier that reduces air leakage, thereby mitigating these issues and enhancing the overall energy efficiency, comfort, and air quality of the home. 

Is Crawl Space Encapsulation Worth It?

So, is it worth the cost? The US Department of Energy has found that “homeowners can save an average of 15% on heating and cooling costs (or an average of 11% on total energy costs) by air sealing their homes and adding insulation in attics, floors over crawl spaces, and accessible basement rim joists.” Your crawl space is an important and often overlooked piece of the puzzle when it comes to how your home is performing, and over time will pay for itself in energy savings and reduced wear and tear on your heating and cooling systems.

But perhaps the benefit you will notice most once your crawl space is encapsulated is how your home feels. With fewer indoor drafts, no more cold morning floors, and more consistent temperatures throughout your entire home, crawl space encapsulation will have your home feeling more comfortable all year long. 

Talk to Energy Savers About Your Crawl Space

If you are weighing the benefits of crawl space encapsulation against crawl space encapsulation costs, there is no better ally than Energy Savers. Our team can assess your home through a thorough diagnostic energy audit, and determine if your home would benefit from an encapsulated crawl space. From there, we can work with you to make the right decision for your immediate and future needs when it comes to comfort and efficiency. 

Is your crawl space causing comfort issues throughout your home? Call Energy Savers at (315) 437-3008 to learn about your crawl space upgrade options.

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