Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Drop Down Attic Stairs

So you think that you've done an excellent job of insulating your attic? Please...If I have to hear a homeowner say one more time, "I did a great job insulating my own attic - but I haven't noticed a difference..." I think I'll puke.

Professionals (not the guys that show up straight from Hee Haw) know what they are looking for in an attic. Air sealing, proper insulation values, calm seas...(another topic, another day).

hZg has been invited into many a proud homeowners' attic to view a job well done. The home owner pulls down the drop down staircase and I immediately know they are full of themselves for no other reason than bad gas.

If you can pull down your drop down staircase and see directly into the attic, there is an excellent percentage the "weekend Tim Taylor" forgot to insulate the hatch. This is a MAJOR insulation bypass, sure to cost the homeowner lots of money.

For brevity - there are insulated drop down stairs, but none have the proper R-value for an attic space. The best solution is the coffin hatch. This is a "coffin shaped" box that surrounds the folded up drop-down stairs. It has an R19 value on the sides and an R38 value on the top. When the drop down stairs are pulled downwards, you see the bottom of the coffin. Once climbing the stairs, you then must remove the lid of the coffin prior to gaining access to the attic. This lid is not only insulated, but weatherstripped as well.

So just when you think you know what you're talking about...think again. hZg will be polite to you and as long as you understand and agree - there'll be no repercussions...however...if you don't agree, there's always a blog to vomit on you...


batticdoor said...

How To Reduce Your Energy Bills / Energy Conservation Begins at Home

Imagine leaving a window open all winter long -- the heat loss, cold drafts and wasted energy! If your home has a folding attic stair, a whole house fan or AC Return, a fireplace or a clothes dryer, that may be just what is occurring in your home every day.

These often overlooked sources of heat loss and air leakage can cause heat to pour out and the cold outside air to rush in -- costing you higher heating bills.

Air leaks are the largest source of heating and cooling loss in the home. Air leaks occur through the small cracks around doors, windows, pipes, etc. Most homeowners are well aware of the benefits caulk and weatherstripping provide to minimize heat loss and cold drafts.

But what can you do about the four largest “holes” in your home -- the folding attic stair, the whole house fan or AC return, the fireplace, and the clothes dryer? Here are some tips and techniques that can easily, quickly and inexpensively seal and insulate these holes.

Attic Stairs

An easy, low-cost solution to this problem is to add an attic stair cover. An attic stair cover provides an air seal, reducing the air leaks. Add the desired amount of insulation over the cover to restore the insulation removed from the ceiling.

Whole House Fans and AC Returns

An easy, low-cost solution to this problem is to add a whole house fan cover. Installed from the attic side, the whole house fan cover is invisible. Cover the fan to reduce heating and air-conditioning loss, remove it when use of the fan is desired.


A recent study showed that for many consumers, their heating bills may be more than $500 higher per winter due to the air leakage and wasted energy caused by fireplaces.

An easy, low-cost solution to this problem is to add a fireplace draftstopper. Available from Battic Door, a company known for their energy conservation products, a fireplace draftstopper is an inflatable pillow that seals the damper, eliminating any air leaks. The pillow is removed whenever the fireplace is used, then reinserted after.

Clothes Dryer Exhaust Ducts

An easy, low-cost solution to this problem is to add a dryer vent seal. This will reduce unwanted air infiltration, and keep out pests, bees and rodents as well. The vent will remain closed unless the dryer is in use. When the dryer is in use, a floating shuttle rises to allow warm air, lint and moisture to escape.

If your home has a folding attic stair, a whole house fan, an AC return, a fireplace, and/or a clothes dryer, you can easily, quickly and inexpensively seal and insulate these holes.

Mark D. Tyrol is a Professional Engineer specializing in cause and origin of construction defects. He developed several residential energy conservation products including an attic stair cover, an attic access door, and is the U.S. distributor of the fireplace draftstopper. To learn more visit www.batticdoor.com

Francis Bell said...

REALLY GREAT NEWS!!!!!!!!!!!Now you can not only heat and cool your home the earth-friendly and clean geothermal way-but also your POOL!!!This is well worth looking at-Francis http://www.geothermalquestions.net

Mark hunter said...

Iron has made its name through Spiral Stairs
I like custom spiral stairs.
They give's a nice look.
And the way they designed. I just luved it