During my stove installation assumed gas-out situation, I ventured under my house to see if a gas line running toward the stove was indeed spliced into the one going to the furnace. One was, on a little tee near the tank end. However, I discovered a horrific site (at least to a home-owner/energy conservationalist). The underside of my house in the back area and especially the middle, was filled with holes going straight up to the floor boards. Smaller ones maybe 5″ in diameter were all over the place. Some of these had small bits of black plastic taped over them, most of which were in the process of falling off. There were bigger holes though, including one perhaps 5′ square. In that largest hole, I could see the pipes running to the kitchen, expaining why they constantly freeze. I also could see a bit of the heating duct exposed, and there was a strange vertical duct sticking down into the underneath area with a opening at the end. I’m not sure if it’s there to throw some heat into the under-area there, which would seem terribly inefficient, or if it is not even connected to the heating system.
The ground beneath the house was covered with lots of junk, including a box of siding and a telescope (which I had seen before). There was also a thin layer of grayish insulation looking stuff in certain areas, and a large amount of small particles floating in front of my flashlight. This probably contributed to the irritation of my lungs and eyes and helped speed my exit.
It looks like this is a big portion of the cause of my extremely high heating bills (I heat my small house to 50Â°, yet pay more than in a normal house heated to 70Â°), and so I shall have a large project on my hands. I will have to put new sheathing of some sort and insulation down there to slowly replace the holy flooring. This will probably cost a good bit of money and take a lot of cramped work, but should save me a good bit in heating bills and allow me to keep water flowing to the kitchen. I also intend to replace my water pipes with copper and lay some PEX pipes for a radiant heating system, so I could do this at the same time, or more likely, set it up so I can easily remove the panels and do it later. I want to vacuum or sweep out all that insulation junk on the ground before I start though.