Crawlspace Conundrum

May/June 2005
A version of this article appears in the May/June 2005 issue of Home Energy Magazine.
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May 01, 2005
        Q. I have a problem with the crawlspace in my home. When the air conditioning is running, I can smell the crawlspace. Is there a good way to keep the crawlspace from smelling? I know I need to seal the ductwork.How do you air seal the floor deck between the living space and the crawlspace? How and where do you install the exhaust fan to depressurize the crawlspace? Is the fan actually blowing into the crawlspace or into the house? Don’t you need cross ventilation? If the fan is blowing into the crawlspace, don’t you need another vent somewhere to let the air out of it?         A. Generally, I don’t believe that sealing the floor deck is a top priority, especially if the crawlspace is to be partially conditioned. In any event, typical sealing techniques are using caulk and backer rod for small to medium-size gaps and openings, expanding foam for larger openings, and sheet metal or plywood for the largest openings. These openings include electrical, heating/cooling, and plumbing penetrations; joints in the framing and flooring; and so on. Usually ...

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