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May 132008
 

By John DeFore

Homeowners know that installing attic insulation isn’t just Green- but greenback-friendly. But even those who’ve spent the
Energy Guardianhot hours rolling baffles between rafters may be missing a big way to lower heating and cooling bills: If your attic-access ladder is anything like the one in my old house — a trap door whose dilapidated state suggests the number (and weight) of repairmen who have climbed up and down over the years — chances are it provides plenty of opportunity for drafts.

A bit of Googling produces plenty of articles aimed at do-it-yourselfers — helpfully, they address multiple varieties of attic entrances — trying to defeat the draft.

Those of us with the standard pull-down ladder style, though, can address the issue without making much of a project out of it. Home-improvement retailers and eco-minded retailers like Green and More offer prefab kits to insulate around the attic access.

Specialists selling their products directly to the public range from the ultra-straightforward Draft Cap to the Attic Tent, the Battic Door, and a range of Energy Guardian setups that will make your attic look like a vault. Options are available for as low as $30, but most of the substantial looking kits fall in the $100-$300 range. Even at the top end, it’s easy to imagine them paying for themselves in a season or two of reduced heating/cooling bills.

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