Keeping your home comfortable during any season costs a lot because air conditioners and heaters cost money. But those costs could go even higher if your attic access openings are not sealed or appropriately insulated.
Many people don’t think of attic hatch covers as necessary, but they go a long way in energy savings. You can find out more about them and where you can buy them in this article.
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What Are the Most Important Features of an Attic Hatch Cover?
When buying an energy-efficient attic hatch cover, choose one with an R-value similar to the attic’s insulation and durable material. It should also provide an excellent air and gap seal. These qualities ensure the cover effectively prevents air from escaping through gaps and cracks.
What To Look For In an Energy-Efficient Attic Hatch Cover
Home insulation and air sealing are crucial aspects of energy efficiency.
If your home is poorly insulated or sealed, air and heat can go in and out, making it harder for air conditioners and heaters to cool or warm it. As the machines and system work more, this leads to higher energy costs, as reflected on your bill.
However, people are not usually aware that insulation and sealing between rooms are also crucial. Thus, they don’t notice that gaps and cracks between doors and walls allow air to escape between rooms.
Attics are one part of the house where air sealing is crucial. That’s because gaps and cracks in your attic’s hatch or door allow air and heat to flow in or out.
The air conditioners and heaters in the rooms directly below the attic will then find it harder to cool the space during the summer or warm it up during the winter. Therefore, you must ensure your attic hatches or doors are tightly sealed and insulated. Attic hatch covers are an excellent way to seal the opening.
When looking for an energy-efficient attic hatch cover, the qualities you should seek include:
- An R-value similar to attic insulation
- Providing a good air seal
- Durable materials
Now that you’ve seen the rundown let’s look at each of these features in greater detail.
An R-Value Similar to the Attic Insulation
R-value indicates thermal resistance or a material’s ability to resist heat flow.
Temperature fluctuations are prevented when heat and air cannot flow or escape freely. Thus, equipment won’t have to work harder to maintain consistent, comfortable temperatures.
A similar R-value is also crucial for consistency. If your material’s R-value does not match the attic’s needs, it will not be efficient in keeping the heat in.
The recommended R-value varies from one home to another. For instance, houses with an attic hatch near the home’s entrance will need more insulation than those with attic doors near the garage.
Sealing Gaps and Cracks
Homeowners often overlook air and gap sealing, but when done efficiently, you could have around 15% worth of energy savings. Besides that, you can also enjoy a more comfortable environment with reduced condensation and prevent ice dam formation.
The hatch cover you choose should be able to seal the gap between the door or ladder and the frame.
It’s the same concept as your front door – you don’t want gaps between the door and frame. If there’s a crack, chilly air can go in during the winter, and your conditioned air can escape during the summer.
Composition of Durable Material
It’s also essential you choose a cover made of durable material. After all, it will experience a lot of stress and force as you open the door or ladder several times over a certain period.
If the chosen material cannot withstand the constant opening and closing of the attic hatch or door, the problem of air and heat escaping will reoccur over time.
The Best Energy-Efficient Attic Hatch Covers
You can DIY the insulating and air sealing of your attic access and hatches. However, this process might be quite a hassle.
Commercial attic hatch covers are a convenient and efficient alternative to manually measuring and attaching attic hatch insulators and sealants.
There are two kinds of covers:
- Removable board
The product recommendations listed below are all available on Amazon.com.
Energy Wise Attic Door Insulation Cover
You can install this zipper-type attic hatch cover within ten minutes. When the zipper is closed, the cover with its double bubble insulation does an excellent job of preventing heat and airflow. It’s also accessible, so you can easily open and close it as needed.
This hatch cover is fireproof, waterproof, and tear-resistant, making it durable against mechanical stress and other elements. It also has a reflective aluminum finish reflecting up to 97% heat. The material’s R-value is 15.5.
Lastly, the cover is designed to fit most standard-sized attic hatches or doors. Its exact dimensions are 25 x 54 x 11 inches (66 x 137 x 27 cm).
- Easy & Quick Installation: All you need to install our attic cover insulator is a pair of hands, 10 minutes & a staple gun (not included). But don't worry, instructions are included in the package.
- Premium 'Failsafe' Zippers For Easy Access: Our robust zippers allow for seamless access to your attic when needed. Just unzip as you ascend, & re-zip as you descend.
- Eliminates Drafts: Stop cold air dead in it's tracks with our attic insulation cover. Our attic cover will instantly improve & help regulate the temperature in your home
- High Heat Reflection: Our attic tent insulation cover features thick double bubble insulation wrapped in a high quality reflective foil that reflects up to 97% of radiant heat!
- Fits Openings Up To 25x54x11": Our attic ladder insulation cover is the perfect size for most standard attic hatch openings, be sure to measure your opening before purchase.
Whistler Attic Stairs Insulation Cover
This attic hatch cover from Whistler is also a zipper-type for easy opening and sealing the entryway. It’s designed to have space for storage of an attic ladder. The insulation cover is made of fireproof and reflective material capable of reflecting 95-97% heat.
This insulation cover has the exact dimensions of the Energy Wise cover. However, its R-value is slightly lower at 15.4. The seller does promise a lifetime warranty and a money-back guarantee.
- ATTIC COVER with EXTRA THICKNESS: The highest quality wall thickness in the market will protect your house from air leaks during the summer and winter months and reduce your bills drastically
- DIMENSIONS FOR: 25" x 54" x 11" Attic hatch opening. This insulator covers the full entrance to the attic door while allowing space for the stairs to fold and fit securely beneath, leaving the insulation hidden in the attic.
- 2020 UPGRADED ZIPPER: New Improved Zipper allows for easy entrance and exit to the attic when climbing up and down your pull down attic stairs.
- Fireproof Material - Designed in the USA to meet the highest standards concerning it's manufacturing material, this attic door cover reflects 97% of the radiant heat and the air bubble in the second layer helps in blocking the heat transmission
- 100% SATISFACTION GUARANTEED - We back all our products with a no questions money back lifetime warranty.
SmartATTIC Attic Door Insulation Cover
Like the previous two covers, this aluminum attic hatch cover from SmartATTIC has a zipper. As a result, it has a similar R-value to the Whistler cover, which is 15.4. The dimensions are also standard-sized.
This cover promises a high reflective rate of 97% heat. It’s also made of non-toxic, environmentally-friendly, and non-carcinogenic material.
SmartATTIC offers a bigger version of this product if you need a more extensive attic door cover. The features and materials are similar, except the dimensions are 30 x 60 x 11 inches (76 x 152 x 28 cm). It’s also available on Amazon—check it out through this link.
- HOW IT WORKS - Reduces up to 94% of heat transfer at your attic door. Save Big on your Utility Bill.
- PREMIUM QUALITY - extra thick double bubble layer laminated with pure Aluminum Foil on both sides. Made with our signature Heavy Duty Zipper.
- SAVES MONEY - pay back your investment in a few months, not years.
- SIMPLE INSTALLATION - Easy to handle and install.
- ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY - Non-toxic, non-carcinogenic. R- VALUE -15.40, REFLECTIVE VAUE - 97%.
Attic Tent ATT-at-5 Attic Cover
Another oversized attic door cover is this one from Attic Tent. Its dimensions are 30 x 60 x 13 inches (76 x 152 x 33 cm), which can fit an attic ladder with a 30 x 60 inch (76 x 152 cm) opening.
Besides its significant size, this Attic Tent cover stands out for its material. Unlike many others made of aluminum, this one is nylon. However, it does have a significantly lower R-value of 3.2-6.6.
- AT-5 is 30"W x 60" x 13"H and fits attic ladders with a 30" x 60" opening and 1x5 or 1x6 side rail.
- Installs in 4 Easy Steps
- Insulating value of R-3.2
- Insulates folding attic stairs, knee wall doors, and attic scuttle holes
DIY Energy Efficient Attic Hatch Cover
If you prefer to assemble your own attic hatch cover, it’s also possible. The US Department of Energy even provides directions and suggestions, which you can check out through this link.
Should you decide to DIY your attic hatch or door cover, these are the materials you’ll need:
- Rigid foam board
- Blanket insulation
- House wrap
- Nails, screws, tape, or other forms of adhesive
- Measuring tape
- Saw, utility knife, or other cutting materials
- Caulk gun
- Spray foam insulation
- Plywood or lumber
As you can see, you’ll need a lot of materials and effort to construct your own hatch cover. Thus, we recommend you check out some of our product recommendations above.
However, if you cannot find a cover that fits your attic hatch’s specific dimensions, you may have to go for DIY. After all, a well-fitted atn tic hatch cover is the key to insulation and sealing, leading to better energy efficiency and a lower energy bill in the long run.
For many households, poor insulation and air sealing in attic access openings are the main reasons for their excessive energy bills. Such conditions allow the free flow of air from one space to another, making it harder for equipment and home systems to maintain temperatures.
Attic hatch covers are one of the easiest ways to prevent such free flow. They’re efficient and easy to install, especially on standard-sized attic hatches.
We always seal the attic hatch cover if it’s inside the house, because that conditioned air is being paid for with the energy going into the HVAC expenses in the end. We hope this helps!
- Attainable Home: Air Sealing vs. Insulation: What’s Better For Efficiency?
- Attainable Home: What Is an Insulated Door? (Are They Energy Efficient)
- Central Alabama Electric Cooperative: Insulating and Sealing Your Attic Access
- Attainable Home: Air Sealing Your Home For Efficiency: Your Ultimate Guide
- Energy.gov: Do-It-Yourself Savings Project: Attic Stairs Cover Box