How to Air Seal an Attic

June 29, 2013
Ross and Witmer

Air sealing your attic is one of the best favors you can do for your home comfort and your energy budget. Sealing the attic in your Charlotte area house can lower your cooling (and heating) costs while helping to protect your home’s value. A dry, well-sealed attic won’t be vulnerable to structural damage from wood rot and unhealthy mold growth. It won’t pass superheated air through to the rest of the house, either, if it’s well insulated and sealed.

Learning how to air seal an attic: key steps

  • Seal up any air leaks between the attic and the living area of your home to prevent heat loss or transfer via warm air infiltration.
  • Make sure exhaust fans from the bathroom and kitchen, and appliance vents for the clothes dryer vent to the outside, not into the attic.
  • Fill in gaps and drafts around wiring access points, light fixtures, plumbing pipes, power outlets and heating/cooling ducts.
  • Add waterproof metal flashing to attic walls and around the roof area to keep out rain or moisture. If this wasn’t done when your home was built, it’s not too late to have waterproofing installed now.
  • Seal carefully around entryways, attic hatches, pull-down attic stairs and knee walls.
  • Affix weatherstripping to the hatch or its frame and install a latch bolt for a tight seal. Attach insulation to the attic side of the hatch.
  • Make sure existing attic insulation extends to the eaves area and hasn’t become water-damaged or settled. Add extra insulation or replace as needed.
  • Successful sealing should be accompanied by ventilation to prevent moisture buildup. Install ridged vents beneath eaves (replacing panels covering the soffits) so air flows through a protected path under the roof’s overhang. Install attic fans to increase airflow; save energy in winter with thermal switches, keeping fans inactive when not needed.

Need some advice on how to air seal an attic or some assistance with home humidity and moisture problems? Please contact the HVAC experts at Ross & Witmer. We’ve served the home comfort needs of the Charlotte area for 68 years. Visit our website for valuable heating and cooling advice, or just give us a call.

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