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Old 07-11-2018, 04:34 PM   #1
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Crawl space insulation


Hi all, let me start off by saying I'm severely handyman-impaired, so if I ask stupid questions, I apologize. A few years ago, I had a propane boiler installed and under the floor heating through flexible plastic pipes. The fellow that did the installation covered the pipes in my crawl space with that foil covered bubble wrap type insulation. I doubt if it's doing a very good job at it's best, plus it seems to come loose. Since in places the pipes run across the joists, I was thinking I could fasten 1x2's to the bottom of the joists with gaps to accommodate the pipes, then fasten sheets of rigid foam insulation to the 1x2's. My questions: 1. Any reason this is not a good idea? 2. Assuming it is, should I use insulation with the foil vapor barrier? 3. If yes, should the foil face up towards the floor or down towards the crawlspace? 4. What's the best way to seal the joints between panels? 5. Since there is no way I'll be able to make this airtight, will there be a problem with moisture collecting between the bottom of the floor and the insulation? Thanks in advance for any insight.
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Old 07-11-2018, 04:48 PM   #2
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Re: Crawl space insulation


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Any reason this is not a good idea?
What will be the benefit? Do you think that it will save you money? If so, how much?
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Old 07-11-2018, 04:58 PM   #3
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Re: Crawl space insulation


I'm hoping it will cut down on heat loss into the crawl space & reduce propane usage. The crawl space is not otherwise heated and winters get pretty cold. I'll admit I can't be sure of any benefit till I try it.
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Old 07-11-2018, 05:37 PM   #4
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Re: Crawl space insulation


The quest for reduced propane usage & heat loss really is a quest for reduced cost & rightfully so. Picking numbers out of the air, let's say that your current bill is $100 per quarter. How much of a reduction might the insulation give you? That's the only way that the value of the insulation can be calculated.
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Old 07-11-2018, 05:59 PM   #5
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Re: Crawl space insulation


I really have no way to guess how much of a difference it might make. I just don't believe what's on there now is doing much. A winter's worth of propane runs me around $3000. I'm willing to do it on faith to see. When I asked if there was any reason it wasn't a good idea, I meant is there any reason it's not feasible to do.
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Old 07-11-2018, 06:30 PM   #6
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Re: Crawl space insulation


If the duct is between the joists it is wind protected and the heat leaking would have no where to go but up, have you ever noticed the floor warm over the ducts.


I don't think there would be anything wrong with covering the joist space and it would not be expensive to do..
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Old 07-11-2018, 07:34 PM   #7
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Re: Crawl space insulation


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A winter's worth of propane runs me around $3000. I'm willing to do it on faith to see.
Wow, at that price, I could see taking a chance on it.
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Old 07-11-2018, 07:59 PM   #8
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Re: Crawl space insulation


Nealtw, yes the floor is warm, the idea behind the system is the pipes run across the underside of the floor & heat the floor, the heat rises & heats the room. Kind of nice to be able to walk around with your shoes off on a warm floor. I'm just assuming if the space between the bottom of the floor & the bottom of the joists was more confined, the floor would heat up quicker & stay warm longer, thereby decreasing my propane usage. And Guap0, that $3000 is with me burning a wood stove at night, which keeps the place warm enough that the boiler shouldn't run much at all for 8 hrs. or so. That's another reason I'd like to be able to keep the place warm with less propane - as I get up in years, cutting, splitting, stacking, & hauling firewood ain't as much fun as it used to be.
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Old 07-11-2018, 08:41 PM   #9
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Re: Crawl space insulation


Don't you think replacing the flexible plastic pipes would do better?
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Old 07-11-2018, 08:51 PM   #10
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I put one of these in my house. Worked great to keep the floors warm. In my case I used bubble foil and then fiberglass batts. In retrospect I think the bubble foil loses its effectiveness as it gets dirty from junk falling from above. So if you have a new house foam with the foil up would be good but probably not that useful on an old house.
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Old 07-11-2018, 09:10 PM   #11
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Re: Crawl space insulation


jhayKnaufAU, not sure what I would replace them with - they're kind of the heart of the system. They lay against the bottom of the floor, heat the floor, and the warm floor heats the room. At any rate, since I'd have to hire someone to rip it out & start over, it's not an option. Marson, it's an older house, but the heating system was just installed about 5 years ago. Before that I had an old oil burner running hot water thru baseboard heaters. One winter while I was away it conked out, pipes froze & burst, water flooded the place, etc. Quite a mess, hence the new system. Why do you feel the foam wouldn't be as useful in an old house?
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