What’s Your Home’s Largest Energy-Waster?

Attic Trap Door Picture

We all work hard at tightening up our homes to save energy and money. In fact, most energy improvements are good for the environment and also make our homes more comfortable.

One of the biggest energy-wasters is the trap door to the attic. In many cases there is no weatherstripping or insulation around it. Warm air rises and pushes past the loose joints of the door. Often, fiberglass insulation around the door has been moved away – never to be replaced, because it’s just too hard to get the fiberglass back in the right position.

There’s a simple two-part fix. First, weatherstrip the hatch with door or window weatherstripping. Use the type that you cut with a scissors and press in place with adhesive backing. You can apply it to either the hatch or the mating frame of the hatch.

Second, insulate the hatch. Buy a sheet of 1-inch rigid foam insulation and cut it into rectangles the size of the hatch. Fasten several layers of these rectangles together using special foam insulation adhesive, and then adhere the foam layers to the door with the adhesive or long screws. The weight of the foam will keep the hatch securely pressed against the weatherstripping, and the foam will stay in place when you open the hatch.

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