Closed Crawlspace Example Layout
ATMOX Closed Crawlspace Highlights
  • Reduces issues with musty odors and stagnant air created by closed spaces
  • Uses “dry” outside air as a drying mechanism when beneficial
  • Minimizes the operation of dehumidifier
  • Adds internal air circulation with dehumidifier use
  • Uses low voltage DC-powered fans
  • Powers fans and controller all from one outlet
  • Is fully automatic once installed
  • Allows for monitoring of crawlspace conditions
Explanation of Terms

A “Closed Crawlspace” for this discussion is a crawlspace that has been completely sealed from the outside and is relying on the use of a dehumidifier as a means to dry out the crawlspace.  There are also certain crawlspaces that were completely closed off from the outside with no drying mechanism.  We define crawlspaces that use the house air or HVAC system to dry the crawlspace to be “Conditioned Crawlspaces”.  If you have a Conditioned Crawlspace with issues or concerns, we can incorporate ATMOX in other ways that are slightly different than described below.

When using ATMOX Controls in conjunction with a Closed Crawlspace that needs to be re-vented properly, then it requires the use of the ATMOX FLEX or ATMOX SMART Systems.

Closed Crawlspace Information

Reduces issues with musty odors and stagnant air created by closed spaces

Closed crawlspaces have been installed in new construction or in retrofit situations for over five to seven years now.  When they have been installed properly (which is not always the case), the closed crawlspaces are generally doing their job in keeping moisture levels down.  However, in some of these crawlspaces that were closed several years ago, homeowners are beginning to report issues and concerns.  One of the greatest complaints is the musty odors or other unpleasant smells coming up from the crawlspace.  The moisture issues are remaining suppressed below the plastic but over time the seams from the tape are starting to break down and allowing odors to permeate through. (These odors are sometimes described as smelling like cat urine.) Then once in the crawlspace, the air is completely stagnant and has no place to escape.  When a closed crawlspace is opened on a limited basis using ATMOX controls, the air now has the ability to be replaced with outside fresh air.  Ventilation helps to reduce the musty odor and other smells.

Uses “dry” outside air as a drying mechanism when beneficial

Once a closed crawlspace is set up with ATMOX controls, the primary drying source will be outside air only when it is drier than inside.  This keeps fresh air in the crawlspace and is also the most energy efficient means to dry the space.  Additionally, in winter months, outside air in most climates is very cold and dry.  This colder air can easily keep a crawlspace dry.  At the same time, dehumidifiers are not very efficient in cold weather as they dry air by cooling it to condense out the moisture.  Dehumidifiers have to work very hard to achieve reduction in moisture during cold weather.

Minimizes the operation of dehumidifier

As described above, the ATMOX system uses dry outside air when beneficial.  It will use the dehumidifier as a secondary drying source allowing it to be used much less frequently.  This will increase the life of the dehumidifier as it is not being used nearly as often.  Additionally, dehumidifiers can use a tremendous amount of energy.  Many homeowners with closed crawlspaces are surprised by the increases in their power bill from the constant use of a dehumidifier.

Adds internal air circulation with dehumidifier use

Typically, only one dehumidifier is used in a closed crawlspace.  When the crawlspace is larger, a larger capacity dehumidifier will be used.  There is generally nothing wrong with this concept, but it can be less than efficient as what often happens is that you can get an overdrying of the wood around the location of the dehumidifier and some corners or areas of the crawlspace may not benefit from the drying of the dehumidifier if the dry air is not getting to it.  The ATMOX SMART and FLEX Systems are designed with an option to use internal fans under two different run parameters.  The internal fans will run along with the external vent fans to aid cross ventilation of outside dry air, and the internal fans will also run when the dehumidifier is active.  These fans then help to bring humid air from all areas of the crawlspace to the dehumidifier and spread out the dry air exhausted from the dehumidifier.  This allows for a much more effective use of the dehumidifier.

Uses low voltage DC-powered fans

This is a key differentiator of the ATMOX System. The ATMOX Fans will connect to the main controller with 12VDC low voltage cable (like landscape lighting wire) allowing for fans to be placed in multiple locations without the need for traditional electrical wiring to be placed at each fan location.  The ATMOX Fans are designed to clamp directly onto the low voltage cable.  The low voltage cable plugs directly into the controls and power supply making for a very easy install.

Powers fans and controller all from one outlet

The ATMOX CRAWLSPACE Controls (with attached power supply) plug into one standard electrical outlet. (It uses one or two receptacles depending on system.)  The controls are typically placed where they are viewable or accessible.  All fans up to 150W receive power from this one outlet.  If additional fans are needed for very large or complex crawlspaces, a booster power supply can be used. (This would require an additional outlet.)  Any dehumidifier would need its own separate outlet.

Is fully automatic once installed

ATMOX CRAWLSPACE System works completely automatically.  The system will determine when fans and/or dehumidifier should run on its own.  There is no need to manually turn anything on or off.  The system will adjust between summer and winter months.

Allows for monitoring of crawlspace conditions

As a homeowner, it is often nice to have an understanding of conditions in the crawlspace without having to go completely under the crawlspace.  All of the ATMOX Systems show temperature and humidity levels in the crawlspace directly from the control panel.  Additionally, the ATMOX SMART System allows for the most additional monitoring features with optional alarm notifications and sensors for wood moisture levels or high water alarms (such as back up of a sump pump or condensate line).  Water can be a particular concern in a closed crawlspace since if there is a water leak or backup in the crawlspace, the water has no way to get into the ground with the solid plastic cover.  For concerns over freezing temperatures in the crawlspace, the ATMOX FLEX and SMART Systems can incorporate a heating system to keep pipes from freezing.

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