Did you know that an improperly sealed attic can make it seem like a big hole or even a chimney?
If you have a fireplace and a chimney, you know how important it is to seal these off during hot summer months so as to prevent loss of cool air from your air conditioning system.
It’s the same thing with your attic. You have to make sure that small cracks, holes, and gaps are all sealed up as all these little things can add up and result in massive loss of insulation.
It is important to air seal your attic for the energy efficiency of your house. If the job is done properly it will result in lower heating and cooling household expense.
A properly air sealed attic can also guard against ice damming in the colder climates, as it minimizes the hot air rising through the ceiling and into the attic. This hot air in the attic can then melt the snow on the roof which can get trapped further down towards the edges of the roof. When that happens, it can cause an ice dam and water damage to your home.
THINGS YOU WILL NEED:
- Weather stripping
- Caulking and caulking gun
- Spay foam
- Duct tape
- Protective safety gear: long shirt, gloves, face mask, body suit and head torch
The job involves moving around in the attic and searching for places that air can penetrate from the house into the attic or vice versa.
You need to be careful not to step through the ceiling and therefore always step on the roof trusses or lie on a piece of plywood.
When you find the air leak, simply use the tools to fix the problem.
Always be careful around things that can produce heat. YOU DO NOT WANT TO CREATE A FIRE HAZARD.
COMMON PLACES TO FIND AIR LOSS:
- Attic hatch: You need to ensure that your attic hatch is properly insulated. You should also use weather stripping around the edges to stop air loss.
- Pot lights: Use plastic shrouds or well caulked joints.
- HVAC registers: there could be air vents in the ceiling?
- Bathroom fans: These should be sealed in boxes.
- Wires: seal holes where wires run up through the roof.4
- Lights: these should be sealed in fire rated boxes.
- Chimney ducts: Use insa-shield to make a dam and use fire caulk.
- Plumbing stacks: Could use pieces of dry wall and caulk or foam.
- Attic mounted duct work: insulate with spray foam or tape with duct tape.
As you can see, it’s really not that hard to air seal an attic as long as you know what you’re doing. By knowing where to look for gaps and holes, you can efficiently plug and seal these openings.
Consider it a day’s work that will benefit your household (and your wallet) all throughout the year. The materials that you need are really cheap and easy to find at any hardware store, too.