- Higher cost to heat and cool your home - The cost of conditioned air escaping through the attic entrance is $100- $400 every year for most homeowners and getting higher. In cold weather, the hot air flows into your attic much like through a large chimney. In summer, your attic can reach 150oF+. That super hot humid air flows continuously through the attic entrance into the living area.
- Uncomfortable areas in your home - The air leaks cause drafts in the winter. The room or entire floor will be colder in the winter and hotter in the summer.
- A big source of mold - When hot air meets cold, condensation results. In a dark area, mold grows. That mold becomes airborne and can move throughout the living area.
- Roof damage - When there is excessive condensation, the sub roofing above the entrance can warp or rot. In winter, the hot air enters the attic and melts the snow on the roof. The melted snow flows into the gutter and freezes. Ice damming causes roof damage.
There are several types of attic entrances:
- Walk up Stairway
- Pull Down Folding Ladder
- Push up Hatch Panel
- Knee Wall Door or Panel
Any attic entrance, whether a pull down ladder, push up hatch, knee wall panel or permanent staircase is a big source of air leakage at exactly the right high point in your house to waste $50 to $250 a year of your heating and cooling costs. Because they are made of drywall or plywood, they will inevitably warp over time making the air leakage even greater. That causes more energy loss in both summer and winter and also causes uncomfortable drafts on cold windy days. You need a long lasting air seal that can withstand the wear of someone entering the attic. Kits for knee walls and hatches are less than $150 and ladder covers are under $225 and less than $300 for staircases, but the savings come in just a couple of years it not less. See a full range of attic entrance products
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PLUS: Reflective Insulation (Radiant Barrier
Inspired by NASA technology, Reflective Insulation (Radiant Barrier) is an advanced method of economically making your home more energy-efficient. Unlike conventional attic insulation, which absorbs heat, Reflective Insulation reflects the sun's rays (heat) in Summer and acts as a thermal barrier by blocking heat from escaping in the winter, keeping your living space more comfortable and lowering your monthly utility bills! You can put Reflective Insulation on the floor of your attic, or you can put the foil material on the underside of the rafters. As hot air rises through attics, you can use the space between the rafters and the underside of the roof to guide the air up and out of your house in the summer. This rafter tactic involves stapling roll out foil material across the rafters to trap the air in a 'chase' and guide it up to the ridge vent which is required for this installation. The foil membrane also reflects the heat away from the interior of the attic and typically has a small insulation R Value to further help reduce the heat gain or the loss in winter. Make sure to leave a few inches of air space at the floor level and at the ridge to increase the ventilation factor and take advantage of the Bernoulli principle. Work with a professional to determine if your attic is best suited for installation at the floor level or along the rafters, and not all reflective insulation is created equal! Make sure to check on the consistency of the perforations to allow moisture through and prevent condensation that can lead to mold and harm your house. See the Video: 'The Future of Energy Savings Video' Comfort Guard Contact an expert Reflective Insulation Installer: Comfort Guard Installers
The attic entrance is typically the most overlooked source of energy loss in homes today. An attic entrance causes a number of problems: