Do you notice a cold breeze whenever you walk under the door to your attic during the winter? This is an all-too-common problem reported by homeowners. Allowing drafts of cold air to enter your home can increase your monthly utility bills. The good news is that homeowners can easily fix air problems such as this. All it takes is some basic materials from your local home improvement stores and little bit of physical labor. To learn more about attic air drafts and how to stop them, keep reading.
The biggest culprit when it comes to cold air drafts in the attic is the actual door connecting your home to the attic. Most builders cut a large hole (around 10 feet) in the attic to use as the door. Once this hole is cut and the insulation removed, the builder covers the area with a thin sheet of plywood. Unfortunately, this plywood offers very little protection against the loss of thermal energy. Even if the plywood fits nice and snug in the hole, the lack of insulation here will naturally result in cold air being pushed down below into your home.
There are a couple different ways to improve the thermal resistance of your attic door, one of which is to install insulation to the top and weatherstripping to the edges. Pick up some high R-value insulation from your local home improvement store and staple it directly over the top of your attic door. Next, apply self-adhesive weatherstripping to the edges of your attic door so it creates a stronger and more secure hold.
Alternatively, you can also purchase a insulation devices made specifically for attic doors. Both of these techniques are highly effective at stopping cold air drafts coming from the attic.
Plumbing Pipe Cutouts
If you walk around and inspect your attic, you’ll probably notice small square-shaped holes where electrical, plumbing and ventilation runs into your home. These holes may appear small, but they are still large enough for air to pass through. Plumbing pipes, for instance, are cylinder-shaped, but the cutouts for them in attics are square-shaped. This means some of the air from the attic can easily transfer down into the home.
Homeowners can solve this problem by filling these cutouts in their attic with additional insulation. Simply custom cut the insulation to fit and press it inside the cutouts.