Even though this
winter is milder than usual in many parts of the country, you're probably still
paying more than you should to heat your house. Even if you've checked your
attic insulation levels and you're sure you've got enough (a big if), you're
still likely to have the equivalent of a 2-ft.-square hole in your ceiling that's
acting like a chimney, drafting expensive heated air into your attic and replacing
it with cold outside air, mostly from around your windows and doors. Those gaps
are called attic bypasses.
OK, it's not a
huge gaping hole that you can actually see (if it is, you've got bigger
problems than high heating bills). Rather, it's many smaller openings around electrical
wires, plumbing pipes, light fixtures, chimneys and other attic bypasses that are
hidden under your attic insulation.
All these small
air leaks into your attic are a major source of heat loss. It means all winter
long, mild or not, you're wasting warm air and driving up your heating bills.
And come this summer, you'll be leaking cool air into your attic and driving up
your air conditioning bills.
Stop the madness
right now! Locating these leaky spots and plugging them up is easy and
inexpensive and only takes a few hours. And right now is a good time to do it. Working up in an attic anytime of
the year is not exactly fun, but it's incredibly hot during the summer. At
least during the cooler months, working in the attic doesn't actually
constitute torture. Mostly the task just means digging around in the insulation
to find anything that penetrates up through the ceiling and filling any gaps
around them with expanding foam.
everything you need to seal your attic bypasses at any full-service hardware
store, home center or lumberyard. And we've got a great story on our Web site
that will walk you through the whole process step-by-step.
So, c'mon. The Super Bowl's over, which means your
Sunday schedule is suddenly wide open. Check out our story online and do yourself a favor. Seal your attic air leaks this weekend and start saving energy and money.
— Elisa Bernick, Associate Editor
Check out this
great article for easy step-by-step instructions about how to seal attic air leaks.