$50 investment will save a bundle on heating & cooling
We perform energy audits on hundreds of homes each year and almost every home we go to has one thing in common – the blower door test and thermal scan reveal major air exchange between the attic and living space. Here’s an example:
The reason that the attic hatch/door is always an energy loser is two-fold. Attic doors and attic hatches don’t seal as tight as a regular door so conditioned air escapes into the attic from around the periphery of the opening. Secondly, the attic door doesn’t have insulation over it like the rest of the floor of a traditionally insulated attic. The lack of insulation allows for radiant heat gain/loss through the middle as you can see in the picture above. The solutions is easy and inexpensive and you certainly don’t need a pro to do it. You can pay $150-$200 for a fancy zip up attic tent. However, we find that the R10 attic tents available at Home Depot work just fine and they cost less than $50. It will take you all of 5 minutes to install and you just push it aside when you need to get into the attic. Here’s a link to the product at Home Depot:
Making your home more energy efficient can sound like a daunting task. However, it just takes a series of small steps like anything else worthwhile in life. So my advice is to start with the low hanging fruit. Installing an attic tent is about as easy and inexpensive as it comes so this is a great place to start.