Ventless propane heaters in crawl space
I just looked at a residential repair job (replacing leaking skylights) and the homeowner showed me some work that was recently completed in their crawlspace. A contractor had installed two ventless propane heaters in an uninsulated crawl space to supposedly save energy!
It is a second home with electric resistance heat at over 5,000 feet in the North Carolina mountains. The crawl space has an incomplete vapor barrier, sealed vents and obvious moisture problems with mold and non PT sill plates starting to rot.
The homeowner was pleased with reduction in electricity for heating. I have not yet asked if they know what their increase in propane has been. I would like to explain how a better solution will be to encapsulate the crawl space, seal the floor plane and realign and replace missing insulation. I would then recommend putting a vented heater in the conditioned space.
I would also like to explain that the addition of these heaters will worsen the moisture problems in the crawl space. Does anyone have any figures on how much moisture these heaters put out in relation to fuel consumed? I would also appreciate input from professionals here on how you deal explaining this type of information to homeowners without making them feel stupid. They just paid a good deal of money to a contractor that they think highly of and thought solved their problem. Seeing this type work by so called professional contractors never ceases to amaze me.
T-Square Builders Inc.
Posted Sep 25, 2010 12:20 PM ET
Edited Jan 22, 2013 2:07 PM ET
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