Wood Floor/Crawlspace Insulation?


Old 08-30-04, 10:17 AM
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Question Wood Floor/Crawlspace Insulation?

My home was built in 1948 and has the original wood floors. At the time it was built, the home had no Central AC and insulation did not seem to be a concern.The house is CB construction with a white tile roof. The attic is well ventilated and has lots of insulation. The wood floors on the other hand have no insulation. The crawl space is a well vented 2ft. crawl space with an all dirt floor. I live in Florida and as you can imagine my AC unit runs almost year round. My electric bills are not bad but I think that I am still wasting alot of my AC through my wood floors. On a hot day, if you stand in front of the main vent to the crawl space you feel alot of cool air escaping. I would like to add insulation but do not know what the best solution would be for my climate and situation. Do I need a vapor barrier? The dirt floor is not damp. I was planning on just installing fiberglass insulation and leaving it at that. Please help!
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Old 08-30-04, 02:55 PM
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Several separate problems

You are correct is presuming that you are losing AC energy thru your uninsulated floors, but you have other issues to deal with as well.

You first order of business should be to install probably at least an R-30 fiberglass floor insulation in you crawlspace ceiling/main living floor joists.
This will reduce energy loss considerably. Just how much insulation you need can be answered by your local code enforcement office.

What side, if any, the kraft paper facing of the insulation should be on will depend on your climate. In cold areas regions of the country, the paper should be placed UP against the heated floor above. In warm climates, the paper may need to be facing down into the crawlspace. But just which direction the paper should face could depend on additional criteria as well.

For example, your dirt floor should be covered with at least 1 layer of 6mil polyethylene plastic sheeting....and if your crawlspace is conditioned, and you insulate the crawlspace walls....you are required to have no open vents at all.

And in fact, even if there is no insulation, no polyethylene sheets, nor kraft faced vapor barriers and your crawlspace is unconditioned, your vents should be keep completely CLOSED in summer to prevent condensation.

Have a local code official advise you on what remedies are available for your locale.

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