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Energy Savers - Attics

Your attic is the first place to look for energy conservation and lower fuel bills. I’ve been in too many attics to count and here’s what I’ve seen:

If your house was built in the early 1970’s or before, chances are your attic has insufficient insulation…But the good news is that insulation is cumulative, you do not have to remove what is there to improve it, just add more.

If there are heating ducts in your attic, chances are the ducts are poorly insulated, if at all. We never wrapped return ducts in the 1970’s, we weren’t negligent; it simply wasn’t required. But ducts do not have to be “wrapped” per se, just pile batt insulation over them.

If you have Christmas decorations and old baby cribs piled on top of the insulation, you have reduced its effectiveness. The R-value is based on full depth of insulation. Eight inch insulation that has been crushed to four inches is worth four inches of insulation.

If contractors, especially electricians have worked in your attic recently, there’s a good chance the insulation has been displaced. A gap in your insulation envelope can be quite costly because it may give the clod access to the entire stud bay.

If you have a walk up attic, chances are the door at the bottom of the stairs is an uninsulated inside door and not an outside door. I see this happening even now despite modern energy codes. Replace with insulated door, even if it doesn’t match your bedroom doors, Or insulate and weatherstrip it on the back side.

Your whole house fan is leaking tons of heat into the attic. Use high R rigid insulation and duct tape to fashion a cover for it, just don’t forget to remove it in the spring.

Your hatch or pull down stairs are not insulated and the heat is just flowing into your attic. Again, fashion a cover using High R rigid insulation.

Your bath room fans ducts are uninsulated and don’t have dampers. No wonder the bathrooms always seem cold!

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