If you tend to have extremely high electric bills, especially during the wet season, it could be that you’re actually dealing with the problem of high crawl space humidity. This problem is a serious one, and it’s one you should treat with the gravity it deserves. Here’s how you might be able to lower your high electric bills with crawl space repair.
Fixing High Electric Bills from Energy Consumption in Virginia, Maryland, and DC
JES is dedicated to helping you identify and repair crawl space issues related to high electric bills. If you’re not sure what those issues may be, just look through the information below.
Is Your Crawl Space Wasting Money?
High Electric Bill FAQ
If your electric and utility bills are unusually high, there could be problems in your crawl space. Learn more about these issues and what you can do to fix them.
There are many reasons you might end up with high electric bills. Here are a few of the most common reasons for a higher electric bill than you might have thought you would end up with.
Crawl Space Humidity
One of the biggest reasons for high electric bills is high crawl space humidity. Although it may seem strange that crawl space humidity would have such an impact on your electric bills for the entire house, it’s important to remember that crawl space humidity rarely stays in the crawl space. Rather, it rises up through the rest of the home as well.
This high indoor humidity is extremely bad for your home as a whole, but it has a particularly substantial effect on your energy bills. Humid air is more difficult to process, and it’s more likely to feel warmer than it actually is. For both of these reasons, you’re more likely to use more electricity in cooling your home, which will make your electric bills go up.
Vented Crawl Spaces
Crawl spaces have had vents included in the designs for decades now because of a misguided belief that it would make the crawl space less humid. However, if you have a vented crawl space, it’s actually very likely that you’ll end up with crawl space humidity. These two factors combined mean that vented crawl spaces are, by their very nature, bound to end up increasing your electricity bills.
Additionally, when you have open crawl space vents, you’re giving an opening for the air in your home to escape. You’ve already conditioned this air, ensuring that it’s at the right temperature for your liking, so why would you let it drift outside? That’s why you should avoid open crawl space vents the same way you avoid leaving the windows and doors open.
Dirt Crawl Spaces
A dirt crawl space is more cost-effective for the builders of a home than concrete or other crawl space material. That’s led to many building companies choosing dirt crawl spaces for their designs. After all, this allows them to make more of a profit. The problem is that a dirt crawl space is in no way more cost-effective for you as a homeowner.
When you have a dirt crawl space that’s wholly or partially exposed, you’re going to have high crawl space humidity. Even if you do your best to dry out the dirt that’s currently exposed, it’s not going to help; moisture in the ground goes way down, further than you’ll be able to dry out, and that moisture will release into the air at some point.
General High Humidity
It’s also possible that your home might have generally high humidity. If it doesn’t stem from your crawl space, this usually means that you live in a place with very high humidity, and your home therefore has those same high levels of humidity. This can be very frustrating to many people, and it can be both uncomfortable and bad for your wallet.
In this situation, once you’ve ruled out all other potential causes of high humidity, you may need to install a dehumidifier that can help you get your home back to a comfortable level of moisture. However, it’s important that you do everything necessary to check that the high levels of humidity don’t come from an external source so you know you’re tackling the base problem.
If your crawl space is the reason you have such high electric bills, you should choose crawl space encapsulation to avoid future problems with your crawl space moisture. What does crawl space encapsulation look like?
Remove Standing Water and Debris
The first step of crawl space encapsulation is to remove standing water and debris wherever it may be in your crawl space. Debris may include wet insulation, the remnants of previous ineffective crawl space vapor barriers, and anything else in your crawl space. You may need tools like an interior drainage system and a sump pump to remove any standing water currently in the crawl space.
It’s important that you clean the crawl space before encapsulation. If you don’t remove the current standing water and debris, you’re much more likely to have a problem during the encapsulation process. Only by starting from a blank slate, which is the crawl space with no standing water or debris, can you achieve full and complete encapsulation.
Seal Crawl Space Vents
Next, you need to seal open crawl space vents. Not all homes have open crawl space vents; some homes do have closed crawl space vents or none at all. However, if you do have open crawl space vents, this is the time where you should install a crawl space vent cover over your vents so air can no longer move freely in and out of the home.
JES offers crawl space vent covers that you can simply apply to your crawl space vents so you don’t have to take any drastic measures if you want to cover your crawl space. It’s a good idea to do this right after you remove any existing debris so that you don’t have to worry about water and air coming in from the outside during the encapsulation process.
Add a Crawl Space Vapor Barrier
Next, you should put down a high-quality crawl space vapor barrier. This is such an important step that when many people think of crawl space encapsulation, they’re really thinking about adding a vapor barrier to the crawl space. However, unfortunately, some people choose to put down a crawl space vapor barrier that’s not high enough quality to last them for a long time.
This is why you need to settle for nothing but the best, so you don’t have to constantly go back and fix it. JES only uses the CrawlSeal™ 20-mil crawl space vapor barrier to ensure the best possible seal. When you’re encapsulating your crawl space, you want the best, and that’s exactly what this 20-mil crawl space vapor barrier offers.
Install a Dehumidifier
Lastly, you may need to install a dehumidifier in the space. This may or may not be necessary for every crawl space encapsulation, but if you live in an especially humid area or you had a lot of crawl space moisture concerns before encapsulation, it might be the best decision.
This dehumidifier may need to be there for a very short time or instead for a very long time. However, if you use an energy-efficient dehumidifier and listen to the guidelines from the crawl space repair expert who’s helping you with the encapsulation process, you’ll be able to maintain your home’s moisture levels more easily.
The growth of DIY fixes has led to an unprecedented number of things you may be able to fix all on your own. However, it’s not always possible to handle problems by yourself. Here are a few reasons you shouldn’t DIY crawl space encapsulation.
Difficulty in Performing the Fix
Obviously, the biggest problem with a DIY crawl space encapsulation fix is that it’s often very difficult for laymen to understand how to encapsulate a crawl space. There’s a reason crawl space repair experts train for years to gain the right information to do this properly every time; as someone without that training, you may have a hard time.
This could cause you to have a lot of issues when you go to perform the crawl space encapsulation. Difficulty in and of itself could cause you to give up halfway through, and a crawl space expert would have to fix what you’ve already done and then continue the process. No matter the end result, this difficulty can be very detrimental to the encapsulation process.
Plenty of Places for Something to Go Wrong
Crawl space encapsulation might not seem like the most difficult process, but there are many places where something could go wrong in it. For example, you could accidentally not seal up the entire crawl space. You might overlook some debris when cleaning the space. You might not apply the crawl space vent covers properly.
With so many places to go wrong, it’s easy to see how a DIY fix could very easily fail. That’s exactly why it’s so important to handle your crawl space encapsulation through an expert. That way, you can know that every part is as well taken care of as possible, so you don’t have to constantly wonder whether something is going to go wrong.
Unique Tools That Aren’t Available
One of the reasons an expert can often handle these problems more easily is because they have access to a wide variety of unique tools. You may be able to get some of these unique tools on your own, but the problem is that they’re often expensive and difficult to get, which makes it less likely for you to save money with a DIY fix.
When a crawl space repair expert buys these tools, they’re planning to spread the price of the tool out over many different encapsulations. However, you only have to do one, which makes these tools much less cost-effective. This is a hidden reason why your DIY fix may actually end up costing you more than you thought it would.
An Incomplete Fix
The last problem you might run into is the problem of an incomplete fix. You may be able to do some of this work, but not others. For example, you might end up being able to put up the crawl space vapor barrier in most of the crawl space, but run into problems when you’re trying to put the crawl space vapor barrier around columns or concrete block supports.
This incomplete fix really won’t help you. Although you might think it’s better than no fix at all, that’s generally not true. You should instead seek help from a crawl space repair expert who can help you fix the entire problem. This is the only way you’ll be able to maintain your crawl space’s health and safety.
Crawl Space Encapsulation from an Expert Can Save You Money in the Long Run
So, is that high electricity bill normal? Although there are times a high electricity bill might be normal, such as when you recently installed a new high-electricity product in your home, it’s important to note that there are also many times a high electricity bill isn’t normal. In these situations, it’s much more likely that you’re dealing with high crawl space humidity, and you should try to fix it as soon as possible.
Although it can be tempting to try and do it yourself, crawl space encapsulation is an issue best left up to the experts. There are just so many ways that this could go wrong, and a crawl space repair expert will be able to make sure it goes right. Schedule an inspection with a JES crawl space repair expert and you’ll be able to fix your crawl space moisture levels to bring down your energy consumption once again.
How Do I Cut My High Electric Bills?
Saving money on your electric bills involves more than putting energy-saving films on your windows and changing how often you run the AC. While these things will save you a little money, they don’t address the real problem: crawl space humidity is costing you a lot of money!
What Do I Do Now?
If the source of your high electric bills is crawl space humidity then you may have other problems that need to be fixed: mold growth, dust mite colonies in your home, wood rot, and wet crawl space insulation.
Our professional crawl space repair experts will work with you, every step of the way, to find and design the best crawl space repair solution for your crawl space humidity problem. Ask us questions! We want to hear your questions and concerns; after all we’re your crawl space repair authority and are here to help you find the best solution for you home.