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Is Your Attic Hatch Costing You Money?

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scuttle_hole_coverIs your Attic Access costing you money?

Many homeowners now have invested in insulating attics, some using DIY tips and tricks or others that have hired a professional to insulate our attics. Many new homes have been built to newer standards, but still don’t meet current building codes. Most attic hatches have a minimum of insulation, more so in older homes there is none.

This can create a vacuum, drawing up the warm air and lower that cold space required in you attic space/knee wall. Thus reducing the effectiveness of of your furnace and increasing your heating bills. This can also be a strain on cooling cost as well in the summer months.

How do you fix this? This is a very simple, cost effective DIY repair. By using just a couple of products you can increase the savings in your home.

Here is what you will need:

  1. Polystyrene Foam Board
  2. Batt type insulation, preferably ROXUL
  3. Self Adhering Weatherstripping
  4. Plywood
  5. Styrofoam Glue or PL300 Foam board adhesive
  6. Duct Tape
  7. Measure Tape
  8. Exacto Knife
  9. Pencil
  10. Dust Mask

Remove your access panel and measure the inside of your panel, cut your foam boards to size and using the adhesive to glue your pieces together until you have approximately 5 inches. Glue your Styrofoam box to your panel. While this is setting, using your weatherstripping, sealing the inside edge of your access, press firmly to ensure that it is sealed. Cut a piece of Roxul insulation to fit over Styrofoam boards and using the duct to secure the insulation over the the boards, do not press down or compress the insulation, the tape is only to prevent it from sliding off while moving.

Cut your plywood into 18 inch strips, this will prevent any insulation from falling out, cut to fit on the outside frame of your access. replace insulation, if you have blown insulation, use a rake to rake it back or add more about 2 inches higher than the rest to allow for settling. Replace your attic hatch and check to make sure that all sides are touching.


kneewallIf you have a knee wall or door access, put on your dust mask (N95 preferably), go inside and close the door and mark the the door where it meets with the jamb. Cut your insulation boards to size and glue together. only 3 to 4 inches is required. Using weatherstripping around the inside door jamb, press firmly to ensure it has adhered. Adjust as required while closing.

If you have the drop down access type, your local building center will have different types and styles.

Creating and maintaining the cold space in the winter and warm area in the summer will reduce your energy cost. You cannot make your home airtight, but you can reduce the amount of energy loss.