When meeting with homeowners about insulation, our goal is to find ways to help them save money on their heating and cooling bills, but more importantly, create a comfortable temperature for their home. We all know that hot air rises, but more to the point, heat is drawn to cold. It is important to understand this when trying to figure out your insulation issues.
One of the first places we start when evaluating a home’s insulation is by looking for accesses to the attic; is it a crawl space, door, or pull-down stairs? An attic access is a typical problem spot that most homeowners never consider. If these accesses are located inside your home (inside what we call the thermal boundary) and they are not insulated properly then they act as a chimney. This gap in the thermal boundary funnels heat to escape in the winter and warm air to infiltrate in the summer. In the case of pull-down stairs, we are talking about an approximate area of 2 feet by 5 feet that is 100% uninsulated nor air sealed. This is clearly a problem if you want year-round comfort and energy bills as low as possible.
It is important to note where your thermal barrier exists in your attic. Most often it is in the ceiling. In this case, the pull-down stairs are a break in that thermal barrier. If the thermal barrier is moved to the roof deck by insulating it, instead of the ceiling, then the pull-down stairs are less of an issue.
Especially for homeowners want to have access to store their belongings in their attic area the better way to insulate is usually to spray foam the roof deck and bring the attic space into conditioned space. This not only helps with heating and cooling bills and comfort, but it will also help to protect the homeowner’s belongings from experiencing huge temperature swings.
It is our objective at Bauer Specialty to help homeowner enjoy their home. If you need help in getting your attic properly insulated or have an issue with an attic access Bauer Specialty is happy to find a great solution for you home.