Q: We live in a 100 year old home with a stone and concrete foundation and a very small crawl space. The floors are very cold in the winter.
While we would like to insulate the floors, it is impossible to get to several areas under the house. Would it be a bad idea to direct a heat duct from a furnace under the house
A: insulate, insulate, insulate, then maybe heat your floors
I myself have lived in a number of houses where additions and enclosures have taken living space out over un/under insulated crawl spaces -- (this may or may not be the case with you). My first instinct on reading this is to say do whatever you can to get up and under the space and insulate in-between the floor joists with a batt insulation if not already. You may be able to give yourself some additional protection from air movement by using a sheating of rigid Polyisocyanurate (or fancy foam) over top.
It may also be possible, and I have done this, to build or have someone build a short knee wall just on the inside of the home's exterior wall which may too be insulated and/or even wrapped with a house wrap.
There are pros – in my area Baltimore,MD - & Mr. Basement being one -- that are providing solutions for crawl spaces. (could be worth checking yellow pages)
Other options may be to heat the floors you walk on, but I would only recommend that *after* you have addressed your insulation needs.
Hope this helps and Bmore Bmore! jb
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A: insulate, insulate, insulate, then maybe heat your floors (part 2)
I have a couple of follow up thoughts to this. I am aware that some floor heating systems do allow for between the joist installations (may be worth looking into) -- which means you may not have to modify existing floor coverings (have never used -- do not know how effective they are). That said - this would best be tackled by a project plan -- put something down on paper, come up with a budget, and work thru it. . . adding and deleting various parts as warranted. good luck. jb
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