Energy Savings

Insulate your pier-and-beam foundation against high winter bills

Keep the cold out to save energy and money

Winter is on its way. If you live in a home with a pier-and-beam foundation, the open air circulating beneath your floor can make it hard to keep your home warm in cold weather — and when you turn up your thermostat to compensate, your electric bill gets higher.

This season, take steps to insulate yourself against cold weather and high bills.


Add insulation

Whether you hire a professional or do it yourself, insulating your foundation prevents heat from being lost through your floor. PEC Energy Service Advisor Chris Denison recommends using insulation batts rated R-19 or higher.

“R-19 refers to the thickness of the fiberglass batt,” Denison said. “You can go thicker if you want, but never use a thinner batt when insulating the space between your floor joists.”

Other insulation options include foam board insulation, which homeowners can place atop floor joists and secure with caulk or insulation tape, and spray-foam insulation, a mold-resistant solution that requires professional application. 

Seal gaps

Seal any place where wiring and plumbing emerge from the crawlspace into the house, Denison advises, and any place in your foundation wall where wiring and plumbing exits. This keeps out cold air as well as pests.

Add skirting

Augment your insulation project by adding skirting around the base of your home. While skirting alone isn’t as effective as insulation, it can help reduce wind flow beneath the structure.

“Insulation and air infiltration are the two most critical areas,” Denison said. “How much you’ll save depends on your house, but addressing these two critical areas will allow any homeowner to heat more efficiently.”

Learn more energy-saving tips.