Installing Crawl Space Vent Covers
During the summer months, crawlspace vent covers are great for keeping the air flowing through the underside of the home. This air movement is important for keeping condensation low and allowing breezes to cool off the floor. There are several ways to cover up your vent covers during the winter time for keeping your home more energy efficient.
Winter weather can be a major cause of damage to your home if you do not take the time during the fall to close up your crawlspaces. The vents that are along the walls of the crawlspace work great during the summer. In the winter, however, they can mean broken pipes, cold floors and higher energy bills. Installing vent covers over the crawlspace vents will save you plenty of money by avoiding unnecessary repairs and high heating bills.
Wide Range of Options
There are many different methods that a homeowner can use in order to cover the vents in the crawlspace. Some of these methods use simple ordinary materials, while others require some work in order to get them to cover the vents.
One of the more popular materials that is used to manufacture vent covers is plastic. Many modern homes will have several plastic vent covers along their crawlspaces. If you have a plastic vent you can easily cover them with styrofoam blocks. The blocks are very easy to install, but will need to be taped in or covered with a sheet of plastic that is duct taped along the edges of the vent.
For those who have large yards with several trees, the use of organic materials can solve 2 problems:
- You can get rid of the leaves that fall in the winter by filling plastic bags with them.
- You can cover the vents by lining these bags filled with leaves. This makes a great natural insulation and does not cost anything to do.
Many homes with crawlspaces will also have wooden vents. These are best covered by a sheet of plywood with some rolled insulation between the vent and the plywood. The best part about using plywood rectangles as vent covers is that they can be reused each year. Simply remove them and store them during the summer months.
In areas where the temperatures do not get below freezing on a consistent basis can get by with the handyman's standby. Black plastic lining will make a good vent cover if it is trimmed to fit the vent and held in place with some 1 inch slats. The plastic will probably not be able to be reused, but will do the job of protecting your water pipes if nothing else is available.
Wind is the Enemy
When it comes to closing up the crawlspace with your vent covers, the most important thing to remember is that it needs to be air tight. Any amount of wind that can slip through a crack in your cover can cause pipes to freeze during extremely cold temperatures. Even if a small amount of wind gets through the vent covers it can channel into quite a cold breeze. If this is near, or on, a water pipe, it will freeze it very quickly.