Have you ever had to put on a winter jacket while cleaning out your attic, or have you experienced the other extreme and worn only essential clothing items just to avoid getting a heatstroke up there? Inconsistent temperatures in the attic stem from major gaps in insulation, and that often leads to having less control over temperatures in the living space. One of the simplest ways to prevent the environment in your attic from negatively impacting the living area is to invest in attic stair covers, which block air from leaking out of and into your attic.
The 3 Ways to Cover Attic Stairs
Three types of covers that help protect the airflow on attic stairs include Attic Tent, ThermaDome Cover, and McCoy LadderMate. When choosing between these attic stair covers, keep in mind the R-value (the measure of how well it insulates), size, and material the cover is made of and how these factors work with your attic stairs.
The name is a perfect reflection of its functionality: Attic Tent. Installed above the attic door (on the inside of the attic), it works as a cover, or tent, and is versatile enough to insulate attic doors, folding attic stairs, knee doors, and scuttle holes. Attic Tent is super easy to install and can cut down air transfer to/from your attic by up to 71% .
- R-Value: 3.2
- Sizes (measured in inches): 22 x 54 x 7, 22 x 54 x 13, 25 x 54 x13, 30 x 60 x13
- Material: Made from high tech, fire retardant, cloth-like material
Therma-Dome Covers are lightweight lids for folding attic stair doors (they also work on the inside of the attic), and provide strong insulation. More steps and tools are needed to install Therma-Dome than used for Attic Tent, but the extra work also leads to faster results on your energy bills.
- R-Value: 13
- Sizes (measured in inches): Inside 27 x 57, and 10.5 in. deep, made to fit all attic stair sizes
- Material: 1 1/2″ of polyisocyanurate board foam that is sandwiched between laminated foil
The LadderMate works to insulate the attic ladder door and the opening. The McCoy Laddermate is heavier than the Tent and Dome, but it allows for easier access to the attic via a 30 in. push/pull rod. It takes mere minutes to install this attic cover, and it doesn’t need any additional trim around the opening.
- R-Value: 10
- Sizes (measured in inches): 22.5 x 48, 22.5 x 54, 25 x 48, and 25 x 54 (one model will cover all four sizes)
- Material: 2 in. foam insulation and weatherstrip gasket
Drafty homes are uncomfortable to live in and can be a bigger drag on your finances than you may realize. By installing attic stair covers and properly insulating your home in other open areas, you gain consistent heating/cooling throughout the house while earning a boost in energy savings and reducing energy costs.