Q: What do you think about Conditioned Crawl spaces?
A: We like them—a lot. A nice super clean crawl space is music to our ears. Sounds a bit strange but it is true. What you don’t see matters.
Conditioned crawl spaces have some interesting benefits.
Any fear of radon disappears. We treat the crawl space as if it were almost living space. We really pay close attention to sealing of outside air and introduce mechanized ventilation similar to what we do on the inside of a home. We use a liner that completely seals the crawl space from the native ground. There are no foundation vents. Everything is closed off to outside elements.
Water in the crawlspace—no more. Enough said. No Moisture is a good thing.
Critters have no entry points. That is nice—very nice.
What we have found interesting is how we cycle the air from the home. Normally when a home performs an air exchange (ACH) the indoor air cycles the inside air to the outside. Thus, wasting the temperature of indoor air to the outside. When using a conditioned crawl space the inside home air is routed through the crawl space first before being vented to the outside air. This process actually will heat your crawl space—which is nice during the colder months.
The crawl space is fully insulated—not just the subfloor. When you combine ventilation with insulation you have a space that is now useable for storage. If you look down a neighborhood street you typically will notice all the cars parked in the driveways or the street. What this tells us is that garages are being used for storage. With additional storage capabilities in a conditioned crawl space—maybe people can park a car in their garages.
Next week I will explain how we condition attic spaces.
Please submit questions to firstname.lastname@example.org Jon can be reached direct at 360.907.5800. Tune into Green Building with Jon Girod on 1550 a.m. on Saturdays at 9 am. See you next week!