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Digging out path in the basement

I have a house built in 1888 with a partial limestone basement. The problem is that the crawl space isn't insulated at all, and the ductwork that runs in the crawl space isn't insulated either. The northwest most room in the house is always 5-10 degrees colder than the rest of the house when it is windy outside, which cools the rest of the house down too. When the furnace is running it puts out cold air for about half of the cycle.

I can see into the crawl space under that room where the people that installed the ductwork knocked a hole in the basement wall for the ductwork. There is no way I can crawl into the crawlspace to insulate anything. In the partial basement there is an area that looks like a doorway that is bricked over near where the hole is that the ductwork runs through. I knocked out one of the bricks in the wall about half way up the wall and it appears that there is just dirt behind the wall. I can also see behind the wall and the dirt is almost as high up as the floor joists.

My plan is to knock out the brick doorway and make paths to where I need to go to insulate, at a minimum, the ductwork, foundation, and where the house meets the foundation.

Has anyone else done this, and is it a bad idea?

Re: Digging ou* pa*h in *he basemen*

I'd sugges* you look in*o crawl space encapsula*ion, ins*ead.
I* is a rela*ively new bu* very effec*ive *echnology *o *rea* crawl spaces, *ha* will no* only curb hea* loss and elimina*e *he cold draf*s, bu* will also con*rol mois*ure, *hus pro*ec*ing your your crawl space agains* mold and ro* as well.

A spe******* will probably be able *o encapsula*e your space wi*hou* *he need *o dig a pa*h.

Encapsula*ion makes homes in average 18% more energy efficien*, and is recommended by *he US Depar*men* ** Energy, Advanced Energy, Building Science Corp., Habi*a* for Humani*y, Green Building Council and many o*her repu*able organiza*ions.


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