Reduce Energy Consumption with a Piece of Foam

A drafty attic at the tip-top of your home may be wasting energy, heat and money.

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Many of us don't use that empty, unheated and uncooled space for anything more than storage, but the infamous "attic stair" doorway is only a thin plywood-layer away from the cold temperatures of winter. In the dead of night, with no sun warming the roof (and therfore, the attic), radiant heat is likely to seap into the attic through poor insulation or that little trap door.

Atticap Corporation of Acton, Massachusetts and insulation maker Owens Corning have recognized the possible energy loss through this boxed hole in the ceiling, and have come up with an environmentally-friendly foam box cap to insulate your attic stair. The thick, molded polystyrene (EPS) foam box resides above the folding stair opening, and is light enough to manuever when entering or exiting the attic, designed to fit the stair perfectly.

Depending on where you live, the folding attic stair is the cause of significant energy loss that can be prevented by a simple low tech foam. The Owens Corning website includes a state-by-state list of distributors, most prominently Home Depot stores in selected states. Atticap offers a direct-sale via their website.

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• These energy-monitoring devices won big at the Greener Gadgets Conference.