Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Foundation Vents: A Healthy Investment

Making the home more energy efficient and healthier is a common goal for many homeowners in Oklahoma. They purchase special lightbulbs, install new windows and try to conserve water. One part of the home that is often overlooked is the dirt crawl space under many homes in our area. These forgotten spaces may cause poor energy performance in homes, as well as contribute to poor air quality and odors.

Foundation vents are openings along the outside of a dirt crawlspace that can help cross ventilate airflow underneath the floor of the home. The airflow in the home is from bottom to top. This means that as the air heats up in the attic, it rises, creating a slow-moving vacuum that pulls air from the living space upward. While the air is moving up, at least 50 percent of the replacement air comes from the crawlspace. This pulls air from the outside into the crawlspace, causing condensation, poor energy performance and encouraging mold to grow on wood floor systems.

Sealing a crawlspace can provide a much-needed solution to this issue. It involves sealing the vents in the home and installing a thick vapor barrier to prevent moisture from the Earth and outside from entering the home. A dehumidifier can also be installed to filter the air and prevent mold growth from occurring, preserving air quality, preventing odors and increasing overall energy efficiency.

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