As the winter season approaches and energy costs increase, people may be wondering, “What is the greatest source of heat-energy loss in a typical home?” and “How can I save on heating bills?” The answer is quite simple, “Air infiltration is the greatest source of heat-energy loss and a few simple solutions can help dramatically.” As a licensed home inspectors, we have been trained to detect problem situations that may be noted on a report and remedied by home sellers and potential home buyers.
The greatest source of air infiltration in a typical home is the hatch that leads up to the attic. In cold climates, this hatch can be a problem because attics are typically insulated on the floor and the hatch door is usually just a thin piece of uninsulated plywood. This is not good. There are at least three remedies for this situation.
Firstly, an insulated hatch cover that rests upon the hatch area above would be a first line of defense against the cold. Weather stripping at the connection between the hatch door and the surrounding floor is also important. Attached is a photo of a simple loose-fitting insulated hatch door cover that simply rests on top of the hatch area, as noted in photo from Sustainable Life Solutions.
Secondly, an insulated cover can be placed underneath the existing stair hatch to offer another line of defense. This product in the photo is also provided by the same company. This additional hatch cover has a finished look and is ready to install.
hatch-cover-150x150Thirdly, weather stripping may be applied at all locations where edges of closing pieces meet together, including the original plywood door connection, the insulated hatch cover above and on the edges of the lower hatch cover.
These simple solutions can help to save money on energy bills in winter. Other sources of thermal drafts include fireplaces, AC wall units and outlets that are poorly insulated. SHI can visit your home and give you a high-tech energy inspection using the latest infrared technology to determine the sources of heat loss in your home.
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