Monday, June 9, 2014

Installing Crawlspace Insulation & Heat & Air Costs

A lot of the "house stuff" we have been working on lately is not outwardly noticeable, but has vastly improved our living space. Last week we bit the bullet and had insulation installed in the attic. We had to do this when we were sweltering in our home --- and its only June! Ty had three companies come out to bid on installing insulation. While we were at it, we also insulated the crawl space and added the appropriate vapor barrier to keep that area a consistent temp, as well as dry. It is amazing what a difference these things have made. Our AC hardly runs and our home is a consistent temperature from the front door to the back door - incredible!!

1. Before getting new insulation ours was suited for Hawaii. Yes, we had a whopping 3.5 inches of insulation in our attic when we moved in (something noted on our home inspection so we knew this day would come!)

BEFORE: Old Insulation

2. Ty did some research and we figured out that we needed between R for our zone. We are barely in zone 4 so it is recommended that we get between R38 - R60. We went with R30 since the price jump to R50 was quite large. With our old insulation included we hit the R38 minimum and then some. We know its not the highest level but we also figure ANYTHING will be better than what we have at this point.

3. We got THREE estimates for the various types and levels of insulation, and decided to go with cellulose insulation. Cellulose is the "green" choice of insulation. It is made of recycled papers and treated with mold preventing agents.

AFTER: Cellulose Insulation

Crawl Space Solutions: explained via the Family Handyman.

If you have water collecting on the pipes and concrete walls in your crawlspace, then you're experiencing a common problem. The ventilation openings were designed to flush out moisture from crawlspaces, but they often don't do the job, except in dry climates. In fact, during humid summer conditions, they often make matters worse. The humid air carries moisture that condenses on the cool walls, the pipes and even the underside of floors.
The best solution is to completely close up the vents (or omit them in new construction) and control crawlspace moisture in other ways.

BEFORE: Crawlspace

This was our problem exactly. Not only was our vapor barrier only 4mm, it was wadded up and no where to be seen in our crawl space. So we opted to install a new vapor barrier and to spray the concrete walls with foam to fully encapsulate the crawl space. The idea is that this will keep the crawl space the same temperature as the house - no more freezing floors in the winter! 

AFTER: Crawlspace Encapsulated
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Those our our Unseen Things Revealed! It is hard spending money on stuff like this but we are a week in and can already tell a HUGE difference in our home. 


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