The ductwork contractor is on site today. Here’s a photo of sections of hvac ducts that will be installed. As part of the barn addition, we are replacing the 1980’s era furnace in the existing attic. The new 95% efficient furnace going into the barn will heat the whole house. We’re adding central air conditioning and a new evaporative cooler, both of which will cool the entire house. The hvac update turned out to be a bigger project than we planned. By doing all this now we’ll have a new, modern system. In for a penny …
The subject of crawlspace encapsulation has been my livelihood for the past 12 years. SImply put, crawlspaces are not only a hidden health hazard, they can be a massive heat-sink. In truth, a crawlspace should not be considered anything other than a mini-basement. Trying to insulate between floors with fiberglass will lead to new problems, including mold. To make a serious, permanent improvement to the crawlspace, all the necessary drainage and waterproofing work needs to be done before the vapor barrier put down. Sometimes this includes interior draintile, sump pumps, and foundation crack repair. Solve any water problem first. Then lay down a good vapor barrier, and if you do not concrete the floor, this vapor barrier needs to be sealed with adhesives or tapes and hope it does not become wet and destroy the adhesives. The better option for the floor is to pump in concrete over the vapor barrier and permanently seal off the ground. Final step is to insulate the foundation and sill boxes (all vertical surfaces) using spray foam insulation. Minimum R-15 should be used, whether it is open or closed cell. Open cell foam can only be used if the walls are poured, and there is no water penetration through the walls. once this is done, the air is now conditioned using the air supply of the ductwork, the same as a basement. The conditioned space will be incredibly warm, and rise up evenly through the floors to become more like radiant heat. I have heard from clients their heating bills drop by up to 50%. The website Crawlspaces.com is a good source of further information.