Sealing the Air Leaks in Your Attic: a Step-by-Step Guide

September 20, 2013
Ross and Witmer

A residential HVAC system is only as efficient as the house it is in. If there are air leaks, particularly in or going through to the attic, hundreds of dollars can be lost every year in utility bills. The multiple air leaks can have the same effect as a wide open chimney with the flue open, overworking a heater or lead to the A/C freezing up. These problems are frequently avoidable.

  • Seal up the attic hatch
    One of the biggest areas where a homeowner can lose valuable internal air is through the attic hatch. This is usually just a board to seal off access and provides no insulation whatsoever. As a result, an entire four square foot opening allows hot air to get in and cold air to get out. Fortunately, replacing a hatch door with a proper insulated version can be done in about an hour. The homeowner simply needs to take down the hatch and glue or staple a pre-cut size of attic insulation to the side of the hatch that will face the attic. This layer of insulation will create a proper seal and block a lot of the air loss that otherwise occurs.
  • Seal up the light fixtures
    The cavity for a light fixture is often cut roughly to get the installation done quickly. That creates a lot of gaps that air can travel through to and from the attic. The solution is to replace the can lights in the ceiling with insulated ones and use bulbs that don’t generate as much heat as traditional bulbs. This will allow better insulation around the can on the attic side without a fire risk.

By fixing some of the above issues, your A/C freezing up or heater malfunctioning should be a far less common experience. Give Ross & Witmer a call today to have experienced technicians come out and inspect the systems in you Cornelius home or anywhere in the Charlotte, NC area.

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