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Old 07-17-2013, 10:02 AM   #1
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Insulation stop air through crawlspace


I am a DIY with some experience. Usually did repairs and building with my dad. He has passed away. I am on my own. I don’t want to spend time and money on this and not get and results. I need someone who has experience to give me advice or suggestions.
Our electric bills have been $400 plus and I think I have found one reason. I have a walkout basement that has a shop area and the shop is letting tons of outside air into the crawl space. The exterior wall of the shop has no insulation at all and the interior is partially insulated. In winter our main level floor is cold and summer our basement is warm. I am looking at blocking the air flow and insulating the crawl space to the shop area. For other reasons I can not drywall the area, so I am trying my best to help reduce what I can.
Attached is a picture of the area
Area 1 is on the left where the studs go to all the way to the top. My thoughts are to place the foam board behind the studs and continue up with the fiberglass.
I understand fiberglass doesn’t block air and the foam board will do this. My hopes is that the combo will stop air flow and keep the temp and moisture controlled.
Area 2 is on the right where the studs stop and the crawl space is open. Darn pipe is there. Thinking I could manage to install 3 layers of the foam board to get the R up to 15.
FYI There is access to the crawl space on the other side of the house for repairs, so I can completely block this area off if needed.
Oh should I have a vapor barrier since this area is storage for a lawn mower and motorcycle?
Any suggestions would be helpful!
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Insulation stop air through crawlspace-insuance-base.jpg  

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Old 07-17-2013, 11:01 AM   #2
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Insulation stop air through crawlspace


Your electric bills being high, could be due to habits of the household, electric water heater with a bad heating element, rollove from previous unpaid bill, heat pump stuck in defrost cycle, or electric heating coils for aux heat stuck on.

Suggest you review the bill and the figure out what is going on, by using a clamp on amp meter and measuring various electric circuits.

Right now I am looking at my Electric portion being aroung $140 for last month, but you do not see me running around complaining.

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Old 07-17-2013, 11:19 AM   #3
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Insulation stop air through crawlspace


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Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post
Your electric bills being high, could be due to habits of the household, electric water heater with a bad heating element, rollove from previous unpaid bill, heat pump stuck in defrost cycle, or electric heating coils for aux heat stuck on.

Suggest you review the bill and the figure out what is going on, by using a clamp on amp meter and measuring various electric circuits.

Right now I am looking at my Electric portion being aroung $140 for last month, but you do not see me running around complaining.
Looked at all that. Bill paid in full every month. Yes, I know kids aren't turning lights off. Replaced old thermostats, changed air filters, cleaned coils, checked windows. Moved in last summer. Main floor should not be icey cold in winter and basement should not be warm in summer. Logic says my HVAC has a problem or the place has insulation issues. Ruled out the HVAC problem so next is improving insulation. Possibly the hot air flowing from the shop going between the levels of the house might cause the A/C to run often.
$140 for electric would be nice. $400 a month is not so nice. I'm not complaining, I am trying to fix it. Thanks so much for your help.
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Old 07-17-2013, 11:56 AM   #4
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Insulation stop air through crawlspace


If this garage is attached and there's living space above or on the other sides of those walls by code there has to be 5/8 fire rock.
If you decide to use foam it's stamped right on it that it's flammable and also would need to be covered. When it melts it gives off toxic fumes.
Consider this instead.
http://www.roxul.com/residential/overview

Lack of roof venting, insulation in the attic, window and door air leaks are more likely to be the cause of the high bills.
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Old 07-17-2013, 12:02 PM   #5
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Insulation stop air through crawlspace


Insulating is not going to lower your electric bill. You need to use an amp meter to find the culprit. Give us a list of all the electric appliances in the home, and have the past twelve months of bills been real readings, or estimates?

Did they switch you over to a Smart meter anytime in the past twele months?
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