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An attic door cover is a structure used to insulate the entrance to an attic. Homeowners place these covers over the door or hatch from inside the attic. While the design of these covers can vary, most feature a simple lightweight frame lined with insulation and some form of moisture barrier. When used in combination with attic insulation, an attic door cover can improve energy efficiency and keep the occupants of a home more comfortable year round. These covers may be added during an attic renovation, or simply placed over the door or hatch at anytime to help control unwanted thermal transfer and air leaks.
The premise behind an attic door cover is relatively simple. During the summer, heat from the sun can leave an attic extremely hot. An attic door cover acts as insulation between the attic and the living areas of the home, and prevents this unwanted heat from increasing the temperature in these areas. During the winter, these covers prevent valuable heat from simply escaping into the attic, and help keep the heat on the lower levels of the home where it is needed.
In addition to controlling temperature and air leaks, attic door covers can also help with moisture control issues. Units with built-in vapor or moisture barriers can prevent moisture from contributing to mold or mildew growth in the attic. Not only does this help control air quality and protect those with mold allergies, but it can also minimize property damage caused by mildew. This is particularly beneficial for those who rely on attic storage space for storing clothing, holiday decorations and other items.
The average attic door cover features a rectangular wooden frame designed to fit snugly around the door or hatch from inside the attic. This frame must be made from a lightweight material so that occupants will be able to lift it from below and slide it to the side when they wish to enter the attic. The frame is filled with a vapor barrier and fiberglass or foam insulation. Manufacturers sell pre-fabricated attic door covers, as well as kits that homeowners can assemble at home. Those looking to save money or cover an odd-shaped opening may wish to make their own attic door cover at home.
Adding an attic door cover is an important part of the insulating and air sealing process. Homeowners who take the time to seal the home and add proper insulation generally enjoy improved energy efficiency. This efficiency can translate into lower heating and cooling costs, and may help reduce pollution associated with fossil fuel consumption.