When our heating and cooling expenses get our of control we generally turn to insulation to give us some relief. This can be the right thing to do in many cases, but today I want to talk about preventing the number one culprit for high cooling costs.
When we think about cooling our homes, generally that means removing the heat from the home. When our home is hot in the summer and it’s uncomfortable we will cool the air or better known as air conditioning. One of the main reasons it is probably called “air conditioning” is because there are several things that need to happen in order to cool the air and it is not as simple as just adding cool air.
1. Control the Environment
I think we will all agree that we can not cool the house with the windows open, so this makes it into the number one spot
"If you take a look in your crawl space and it has foundation vents, dirt floor and insulation in the floor joist or on the walls you have a major leak in your air conditioning.
2. Control Moisture
This is something that your heating and cooling contractor thinks about and is not talked about much among homeowners. We know “hot and humid” and “cold and dry”. Our house is not different, so holding down the number two spot is control moisture.
3. Remove Moisture
This is not the same thing as controlling moisture because once you control the moisture you still must remove it and there is no point in removing it if you have not got the source under control. Two ways to remove moisture is using the air conditioner or a dehumidifier.
4. Add Cool Air
The final step to conditioning your home and making it more comfortable. What does this have to do with a crawl space? Simple, the crawl space is the number one moisture generator in homes that are built on a crawl space. If you are using air conditioning in your home and your home has a crawl space that is not also conditioned you are spending hard earned money that you don’t need to. If you take a look in your crawl space and it has foundation vents, dirt floor and insulation in the floor joist or on the walls you have a major leak in your air conditioning. To get the most out of your air conditioning dollars the crawl space must be addressed.
This will greatly improve the first two points on the above list for your home; it will control the environment in the crawl space as well as control crawl space moisture from polluting your living area. Removing the moisture by using a dehumidifier in the crawl space, a whole house dehumidifier (requires supply and return in the crawl space or basement) or using the air conditioner are the three options a homeowner has. Once complete the home is ready to cool.
If we do nothing…
The air conditioner must remove the moisture from the air before it can cool it, that is why there is a condensation line on your A/C unit. If it can not remove enough moisture then the air conditioner must continue to run and removing more moisture as it attempts to cool the house. In situations where there is high moisture you will see the A/C unit run constantly on a hot day. This is because there is an endless supply of hot air and an endless supply of moisture. Eventually, if the A/C unit is big enough and runs long enough the house reaches it desired temperature. With an open or unconditioned crawl space, cooling your home is a bit like trying to heat it with the windows open.
Read more about how to impact your home in a positive way by fixing your crawl space by clicking here.