Your attic can be as much as 27 degrees hotter than the rest of your house. If you don't properly insulate your attic hatch, then you could be wasting a lot of energy.
So, you've spent a vast amount of money ventilating your attic space and exerted as much time and resources on attic insulation. But come summertime, you notice that your home isn't getting as cool and comfortable as you need it to be. Your utility bills are going through the roof.
What seems to be the problem here?
It's time to check your attic hatch. This scuttle hole in your ceiling could be the culprit as to why your home is losing indoor heat in the winter or why your home is getting too warm inside during summertime.
It is not enough that your attic space is well-insulated. If your attic access or access hatch has air leaks, it will cause heat loss when the weather is cold, or it can let in extra warm air when the weather is already too hot outside.
Not only that, if you don't want dust, dirt, or any debris to fall on your floors, furniture, or clothes, you might consider appropriately sealing off your attic door and attic stairs, especially if it is located directly above your main hallway or your closet space.
In this article, let's talk about attic door sealing and insulation for attic doors to help you save money and energy. Here are some easy and simple steps on how to insulate an attic hatch.
Most attic hatches are located in the ceiling of an air-conditioned area such as closet space or a hallway. Because airflow in these areas directly affects the overall temperature in the house, you might want to insulate, and air seal that scuttle hole in your ceiling, or else indoor air will escape, and outdoor air will come through and make your home less comfortable.
How to seal the attic door? To insulate the attic door, start by air-sealing the trim and enclosure around the attic door.
First, pull down the trim carefully and put it aside. Close the gaps between the drywall and the attic door framing using caulk and foam insulation or sealant, depending on the size of the holes. Don't forget to apply caulk on both sides of the trim before reattaching it.
Consider installing weather stripping on your attic door. If the hatch rests directly on the moldings, provide enough space around the opening for the attic door weather stripping and the fasteners later on.
If you want to ensure that your attic door is tightly air-sealed, you may reinforce the sealing using attic door gaskets, which seal gaps more tightly as it is more durable than other materials.
How to insulate the attic hatch? In insulating the attic door, finish off by attaching rigid foam board insulation at the back of the attic door. The recommended thickness is around eight inches of foam board, so you may have to use multiple layers to seal the attic hatch. Use foam-compatible construction adhesive to attach the board to the plywood.
Here's an additional tip: the best product to attach to a hatch is a flat foam board or a rolled foam with paper backing to create a flat, mess-free surface.
To ensure that you can easily open the hatch, cut the foam board to about a quarter of an inch smaller than the hatch size.
Finally, top the foam board with a layer of fiberglass batt insulation. Ensure that the fiberglass insulation's R-value is the same as that of the attic space insulation.
To close off the attic securely and adequately, install hook-and-eye fasteners. This will make it easy for you to pull down the attic door, compressing the gasket and ensuring that the hole is entirely air-sealed.
While attic door insulation may seem negligible to many of us, attic doors actually play a significant role in making our homes safe, comfortable, and energy-efficient. Sometimes, all your efforts to insulate the home, ventilate the attic, or spend on home improvements may be wasted if you don't pay attention to some of your home's small yet crucial parts. One of these is an insulated attic access door.
If you're not confident insulating an attic hatch, a certified attic specialist will insulate your attic hatch right the first time.