Battic Door Energy Introduces the R-50 Attic Stair Cover with Rigid Insulation to Comply With The Department of Energy Weatherization Program Requirements

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Energy efficiency programs follow guidelines prepared by the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). These guidelines now require pull-down attic stairs and attic access doors and hatches to be insulated with non-compressible insulation.

Attic Stairs can lose valuable heating and air conditioning. Seal them with an Attic Stair Cover to save energy.

Attic Stairs can lose valuable heating and air conditioning. Seal them with an Attic Stair Cover to save energy.

Battic Door's attic stair cover and E-Z Hatch attic access hatch comply with the new guidelines prepared by the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

Battic Door Energy manufactures energy efficient products used to air seal the house. The Battic Door R-50 attic stair cover kit has become the preferred solution for weatherization energy efficiency programs, builders, contactors, and home owners to air seal and insulate pull down attic stairs.

New guidelines prepared by the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) now require pull-down attic stairs and attic access doors and hatches to be insulated with non-compressible insulation.

In response to this new requirement, Battic Door Energy introduces the R-50 attic stair cover with rigid insulation. This kit is in stock and available for immediate delivery.

ATTIC STAIRS

When attic stairs are installed, a large hole (approximately 10 square feet) is created in the ceiling. The ceiling and insulation that were there have to be removed, leaving only a thin, unsealed, sheet of plywood.

The attic space is ventilated directly to the outdoors. In the winter, the attic space can be very cold, and in the summer it can be very hot. And what is separating the conditioned house from the unconditioned attic? That thin sheet of plywood.

Often a gap can be observed around the perimeter of the attic door. Try this: at night, turn on the attic light and shut the attic stairway door -- is any light coming through?

If there is, heated and air-conditioned air is leaking out of these large gaps in the home 24-hours a day. This is like leaving a window or skylight open all year ‘round.

An easy, low-cost solution to this problem is to add an insulated attic stair cover. An attic stair cover seals and insulates the stairs, stopping drafts and energy loss. Add the desired amount of insulation over the cover to restore the insulation removed from the ceiling and to meet the new Code requirements.

BATTIC DOOR ATTIC STAIR COVER

The Battic Door R-50 Attic Stair Cover includes a rigid box (stair cover), rubber gasket, reflective shield and R-50 insulation. Insert the desired amount of insulation into the reflective shield and place the stair cover rigid box into the reflective shield covering the insulation. The shield holds the insulation to the box. The stair cover fits between trusses. Available in 3 sizes to fit most any size or brand of pull down ladder: 22x54, 25x54 and 30x54. Priced at $59 without insulation (add your own) or $99 -$149 with R-50 insulation included, it is the least expensive, easiest install and highest insulation of any attic stair cover kit available. May be purchased with or without R-50 insulation (installers may add their own insulation).

Remember: R-5 and R-10 attic ladders do not meet Code - they must be insulated to a minimum of R-30.

BATTIC DOOR E-Z HATCH ATTIC ACCESS DOOR

The Battic Door E-Z Hatch R-42 or R-50 Attic Access Door is an air-tight, high-performance, energy-efficient attic access scuttle door. It is R-42 (R-50 is optional), triple-gasketed, and pre-finished and fits in a 22 ½” x 30 ½” rough opening. It is an energy efficient alternative to energy-wasting attic pull down ladders and exceeds all Code requirements. Deluxe version includes an internal 4-point lock and two recessed handles. Priced at $199 (no lock) or $269 (with lock), it is a less expensive solution than and a higher performance alternative to a pull down ladder and the Code-required insulated and gasketed stair cover.

STOP DRAFTS TO SAVE ENERGY AND IMPROVE COMFORT

Imagine leaving the windows open all winter long - the energy loss, drafts and wasted energy. Well, if the home has a folding pull-down attic stair, a whole house fan, a fireplace or clothes dryer, that may be just what is occurring in the home every day.

Drafts from these often overlooked holes waste energy in the form of higher energy bills. Drafts are the largest source of heating and cooling loss in the home.

Drafts occur through the small cracks around doors, windows, pipes, etc. Most homeowners are well aware of the benefits that caulk and weather stripping provide to minimize energy loss and drafts.

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

WHOLE HOUSE FANS

Much like attic stairs above, when whole house fans are installed, a large hole (up to 16 square feet or larger) is created in your ceiling. The ceiling and insulation that were there have to be removed, leaving only the drafty ceiling shutter between you and the outdoors. An easy, low-cost solution to this problem is to add a whole house fan shutter seal. Made from white textured flexible insulation, the shutter seal is installed over the ceiling shutter, secured with Velcro, and trimmed to fit. The shutter seal can also be used to seal and insulate air conditioning vents, and is easily removed when desired.

FIREPLACES

Over 100 million homes in North America are constructed with wood or gas burning fireplaces. Unfortunately there are negative side effects that the fireplace brings to a home. Fireplaces are energy losers!

Researchers have studied this to determine the amount of heat and air conditioning loss through a fireplace, and the results are amazing. One research study showed that an open damper on an unused fireplace in a well-insulated house can raise overall heating and cooling energy consumption by 30 percent.

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

Why does a home with a fireplace have higher energy bills? Your chimney is an opening that leads directly outdoors --just like an open window. Even if the damper is shut, it is not airtight.

Glass doors don’t stop the drafts either. The fireplace is like a giant straw sucking your expensive heated or airconditioned air right out of your house.

An easy, low-cost solution to this problem is to add a Fireplace Plug to your fireplace. Available from Battic Door, a company known for their energy conservation products, the Fireplace Plug is an inflatable pillow that seals the fireplace damper, eliminating drafts, odors, and noise. The pillow is removed whenever the fireplace is used, then reinserted after.

CLOTHES DRYER DUCTS

In many homes, the room with the clothes dryer is the hottest room in the house. Your clothes dryer is connected to an exhaust duct that is open to the outdoors. In the summer, hot air drafts in through the duct, through your dryer and into your house.
Dryer vents use a sheet-metal flapper to try to reduce these drafts. This flapper is a problem because over time, lint clogs the flapper valve causing it to stay open. And it can be blown open by a cold breeze.

An easy, low-cost solution to this problem is to add a dryer vent seal. This will reduce unwanted drafts, and also keeps out pests, bees and rodents. 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.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR - 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 and an attic access door. Battic Door Energy Conservation is the US distributor of the fireplace plug. To learn more visit http://www.batticdoor.com.

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Mark D. Tyrol, P.E.
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